March 18, 2011

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Wayne Rooney reveals his pre-match routines

10 Feb, 2011

Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney talks about his six steps of match preparation in a recent interview with FourFourTwo magazine.

1. Sleep
Rooney explains that he tries to get eight hours of sleep each night, but he doesn’t force it. Often times after a night game he won’t be able to fall asleep until really late and he definitely feels how it affects his performance.

“I try to get at least eight hours of sleep a night, plus an hour or two in the afternoon. To do your best in training, eight hours is fine. I’m not regimented about it."

2. Visualization
Ever since he was a young boy, Rooney says, he has pictured the game the night before. He’ll imagine different scenarios, ask the kitman what uniform the team is wearing, and he’ll visualize as many details as he can.

“What will I do if the ball gets crossed in the box this way? What movement will I have to make to get on the end of it? Just different things that might make you one percent sharper.”

3. Meals
Rooney will stock up the night before a morning match since he will need to eat lightly before a morning match. He’ll eat chicken, pasta, fish, and all the “normal stuff you would expect us to eat.”

“I’ll then have Coco Pops and a banana as a pre-match meal and then when we get to the stadium, there are cereal bars in the dressing room and energy gels which you can take if you feel you need them.”

4. Routine
Rooney admits that he’s not superstitious, and tends to mix up his routine, while aiming to stay relaxed. He often will bike for about 15 minutes, do some stretching and relax.

“Some players always do the same thing in the dressing room, while some like to do different things…I just try to stay focused and concentrate. I’m quite relaxed in the dressing room.”

5. Music
Rooney feels that it is better for the team to listen to music together rather than opt to their own iPods. Although some people like it and some don’t.

“Patrice Evra likes to put the music on in the dressing room. [FFT: French hip-hop?] Something like that!"

6. The final hour
An energy drink in the dressing room 40 minutes before kick-off is a must for Rooney. In the hour before warm-up, Rooney is trying to keep his mind off the game so he can stay relaxed. But the half hour of warm up is when he gets focused for play.

“I’ll have an energy drink in the dressing room 40 minutes before kick-off and then go out for the warm-up, which lasts about half an hour. About 10 minutes before the game starts, you’re back in the dressing room, you put your shirt on, shinpads on, and then go and kick off."

[+Click here for the full story in FourFourTwo]


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