The week begins… For me, each week is unique. Especially in this sport that is soccer you never know what might happen in the future. The first step before starting my week is to look at the calendar. Thomas Caughlin, who is a big brother to me in this journey, makes sure to plan our schedule in detail. What’s special about this week is that there are no games. Usually, we play every Wednesday. We have been in Germany for 1 1/2 months and I think a week without games will give us a chance to recharge our batteries.
Normally, except for Saturdays and Wednesdays, training is always at 10 am. So I wake up at 8 am after a good night of sleep for about 9-10hours. I always start the day with a good breakfast. Usually what I have on my plate are eggs, croissant, yogurt with cereal in it, a fruit and a multivitamin juice. Then I get ready for my practice. I like to take my time in the morning, it allows me to think about my day and organize myself without pressure.
When I get to the field I do some dynamic stretching and warm-up to prepare my body for practice. I take care of my body and it is essential for me. Injuries are a footballer’s nightmare so it’s important to do things right. The theme this week is the counter-attack. We work on a theme because the academy is above all a formation. We don’t change the theme every week but we work with it to improve. We have been working on counter-attack for 2 weeks now. A good counter-attack always starts with the desire to defend to recover the ball. Some teams/players tend to defend and not to recover the ball. The problem that we have analyzed in our games is that if we recover the ball on the right side we force to counterattack on the right side. Sometimes the best way to hurt the opponent is to counterattack from the opposite side. Personally, I feel that the coaches have taught me a lot in the last months. I am a player with a defensive profile but also with good offensive qualities. The knowledge that the coaches have, has allowed me to take my game to the next level. Every day between 2 sessions or after the training I go to the gym to work physically. My ambitions and mentality require me to be on top of my form. This week I have double sessions on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday.
On Wednesday, the coaches organized a soccer tennis game with a local German soccer team. This activity allowed us to continue our integration in this country. We had a great time. Another aspect of the International Soccer Academy residential program with Schalke is the German classes. Being able to communicate in German is essential in this country. It is not an easy language but with practice, I am optimistic to have positive results. As mentioned before, taking care of my body is in my priorities. That’s why I stretch every day. There are days that I don’t feel like stretching but I do it. It’s those little things that make the difference on the field. Taking ice baths is also in my routine. I only take them when I need it. I’m in a professional environment now so I have to behave like a professional everyday.
To conclude, the week was light. We felt that the players were tired so the trainings were more technical than intense. Every week is a new mission for me. Every day I do everything to give my best to make sure that I continue to progress. Personally, I am happy with my week and I hope to get closer to my goal…🙏🏾
Tidiane Keita, #28 Defender