So, it has been a bit of an up and down week for me. It started off well, with a good performance against Colorado still fresh in my mind, so confidence was high, which is a big part for any player. Monday was also the first day that we welcomed back players that were coming in from international duty, like Chris Wondolowski and Justin Morrow, so the training definitely stepped up a notch. After just getting back from Tuscon, AZ, we only had 3 days in San Jose before heading down the coast to Ventura, which would be the second part of our preseason trip.
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Unfortunately, I sprained my ankle in training on Thursday, so I have been out of action since then, getting treatment and doing rehab. Injuries are part and parcel of the game, it is just something you have to accept and get on with it, but it is disappointing considering I was really just settling in up here. This does not mean that I have not been doing anything though. While the rest of the team trains, me and the other injured players are taken aside by our strength and conditioning coaches, and put through rigorous workouts in order to maintain the physical fitness that we have built up over the last few weeks, and strengthening areas of our body that will accommodate and take some of the pressure off of our injuries. Even on gameday against Chicago, our coaches brought 8 of us injured players to a gym in Ventura and put us through one of the most intense weight sessions I have ever attempted, so it is safe to say my body is still feeling pretty sore after that.
From College to the Pro Game
As I already said, one thing that jumps out as being different from college to the pro game is the speed of play, and just how quick these guys react to different situations. You do not have as much time on the ball like in college, and if you dwindle on it too long, you are going to get punished. In college there is always going to be very athletic guys that can run by most people, but in the pro’s, they struggle because they can’t think quick enough. Another big difference is how the pro’s look after themselves outside of training. Nutrition is a big part in an athletes life, and just by observing these guys on our pre-season road trips, I can tell that it takes a lot more then a couple of hours on the training field everyday to perform at a high level over a number of years. There are not many days off at this level. Even after games, there is recovery sessions such as yoga, or pool workouts that are taken very seriously, whereas in college you are left to do whatever you want.
Back to Harder Stadium, UCSB
Unfortunately, due to my injury, I was unable to partake in the game at Harder. The minute I found out I’d be coming back, I was buzzing, and to miss out on it was very disappointing. However, I was at the game and did get to see a lot of people and catch up. Hopefully I will get another opportunity in the not too distant future to play on that field again.
I’m Currently Wearing
Right now I am wearing the Nike Mercurial Vapor VIII CR FG. I have been a vapor user for the best part of 8 years, and have definitely been impressed with how the cleat is improving with every new model. I always like to wear cleats that are very light, as having quick feet is a big part of my game. I know as a defender the vapors are not really the most suitable cleat, as there is t0 much protection going into tackles, but i like to get forward a lot and take players on.