The World According to Weimer: Fit as a Fiddle, Finally

Bridgeview, IL - Sunday May 14, 2017: Rose Lavelle during a regular season National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) match between the Chicago Red Stars and the Boston Breakers at Toyota Park. The match ended in a 1-1 tie.

This is the fifth article for Empire of Soccer by the NWSL and Boston Breakers player Tiffany Weimer. The Connecticut native and former star at Penn State who has played professionally in the U.S., Canada and abroad offers an inside look at the care and feeding of a soccer player.

By TIFFANY WEIMER

Breakers logoThe past couple of weeks have been a little off for me. I have been sick and so I’ve missed some training and the last two games (and the last two blogs). It’s never fun to have to watch your team via a live stream (especially one that doesn’t always work so well) and not be able to help.

But I’m back now. (Applause) And here’s Bloggerhouse Five. I mean blog No. 5.

So, we have been fortunate to have a lot of home games in the beginning of the season. Home games mean we play at Jordan Field, the field we train. This is an advantage because we know every inch of that field, how the ball bounces, the width and length and also where the nearest restroom is. These things are important.

Home Beats Away

Being home on game day means we can make our own pregame meals, be in control of our environment and do things on our own time. This sets up a relaxing arrival to the stadium before warmups.

It’s clear that being on the road is more difficult. The challenge is always to make it as smooth as possible and create routines that work no matter where we are. The more we tell ourselves that traveling is difficult, the more difficult traveling is. (Life lesson? Prob.)

For me, I’ve played in several other leagues where the travel is more difficult than life in the National Women’s Soccer League. There were times in Sweden where we would take a four-hour bus trip, play a game, and then bus four hours home. Several times I’ve experienced flying on the same day as a match. The best though was taking the 10-hour ferry the night before a match, get off the ferry, bus to the field and play … then fly home right after. When I travel now, I tell myself if I can do that I can do anything. So, some of it is definitely mental.

The NWSL is one of the toughest leagues in the world to play in because of the summer heat, the quality of the play, the intensity of games, the travel from coast to coast and simply because every team is so damn competitive. But there are things we do to make our lives easier for the grind of the season, for example:

  • We drink so much water. Just when we think we are so incredibly hydrated, we realize that we need more and more and more. It never ends. Water never ends. And the electrolytes! Give us more electrolytes!
  • We wear recovery tights and socks and I’m waiting for them to make ones for our heads.
  • We get to the hotel and do recovery sessions in the pool or on bikes or in parking lots. We wear the NormaTec Recovery pants or get massages.
  • We nap. A lot.
  • We eat. A lot.
  • We adapt to the time change if there is one.
  • We go for walks.
  • Did I say we eat?

There are tons of things we do to make travel easier. It doesn’t have to be as miserable as it seems sometimes (6 a.m. flights are tough, but only if we let them be ☺). The result of feeling good when we step on the field is worth all that we put into it.

At the end of the day, the team that prepares the best off the field and on the field, is the team that is going to be successful. As we have seen already this year, no team is perfect. The league is up for the taking and that’s what makes it so exciting. The world is an incredible place when you think you have a chance. And that’s exactly where every team and fan is at right now. Everyone has a chance. (But the Breakers have more of a chance obv.)

Quick Hits

Book of the Week The Chris Farley Show

Announcement of the Week It’s official — the Breakers have partnered with Dunkin’ Donuts. I was a bit premature with my announcement a few weeks ago. Oops. But now (!!!!!!!!!!!!).

Person of the Week It’s Yael Averbuch for being instrumental in forming the NWSL Players Association. She’s a boss and this is a huge step in the right direction for the players in the league and the players who will one day be in the league.

In today’s episode of “The Best Wall That Was Built This Week” … We have the Boston Breakers building a wall that saved a goal. It was a beautiful sight. And something we work on all the time at training. Obviously.

Congratulations to Rose Lavelle for becoming a woman this past weekend. Great to see that.

And finally.

Last weekend, we celebrated Mother’s Day. My mom has played a huge role in me being where I am today and I couldn’t have done it without her.  

Thanks to all the moms (and anyone who has played that role) who have helped make someone’s dream a reality. Amen.