Mas­ter­class: Tim Cahill

The Soc­ceroos le­gend and Mel­bourne City (as we go to press) mar­quee has de­fied age to shine on...

Australian Four Four Two - - CONTENTS -

So what does an av­er­age day of train­ing look like for you?

I al­ways like to get to the train­ing ground an hour or so be­fore train­ing be­gins. I’ll go and say hello to the staff and then get into my pre­hab and treat­ment for any in­juries that I might be car­ry­ing. When ev­ery­one else has ar­rived, we will have our ses­sion to­gether as a team. Af­ter that, we have lunch to­gether and pos­si­bly a team gym ses­sion in the af­ter­noon. At the end of the day I of­ten get a mas­sage to help with re­cov­ery.

Do you have a favourite part of your team train­ing?

At the end of the day, I can’t go past a good fin­ish­ing drill. I try and get as much shoot­ing prac­tice as pos­si­ble to make sure that if an op­por­tu­nity comes in a game, I’m as pre­pared as I can be. Cross­ing drills are re­ally good for be­ing able to judge the tra­jec­tory of the ball and fin­ish from all sorts of dif­fer­ent po­si­tions. If I feel like I need some ex­tra prac­tice, I’ll get one of the goal­keep­ers and wingers to stay back with me so that I can get some ex­tra shoot­ing in.

What is your rou­tine on match day?

If we’re play­ing in the evening, I gen­er­ally have a very re­laxed morning. I sleep in, have break­fast with the fam­ily and then just chill through the morning. Then in the af­ter­noon I’ll go in to the ground and get some treat­ment done. I’m not re­ally su­per­sti­tious but mu­sic is a re­ally big part of my prepa­ra­tion. I’ll have mu­sic on for a lot of the day. I find that a chilled playlist gets me into the best mind frame to play.

How im­por­tant is men­tal prepa­ra­tion be­fore a game?

Men­tal prepa­ra­tion is re­ally im­por­tant. The mind­set that I al­ways try and stick with is ‘don’t get too high, don’t get too low’. Keep­ing your mind and emo­tions in check is re­ally im­por­tant, es­pe­cially in big games where the pres­sure is on. The right men­tal prepa­ra­tion and mind­set can have a re­ally big in­flu­ence on the re­sult. The first big tackle or mo­ment at the start of the game re­ally sets the tone, so you need to have that con­trolled ag­gres­sion.

Do you do ice baths or mas­sage af­ter a game?

Im­me­di­ately af­ter the game, we will have a warm down and stretch. Ice baths when they’re avail­able as well. Re­cov­ery has be­come a much big­ger fo­cus than it was when I first started play­ing pro­fes­sion­ally. A good night’s sleep af­ter the game is im­por­tant but of­ten pretty hard to achieve when your body is still run­ning on adren­a­line. We al­ways have a re­cov­ery ses­sion the morning af­ter the game which in­volves start­ing treat­ment on any in­juries that we might have picked up and get­ting the body mov­ing again. I get a lot of mas­sage treat­ment through the week to make sure that my body is al­ways good to go for each match.

What does your pre-match menu look like?

Most times I’ll have a light meal a few hours be­fore I play. Prob­a­bly some meat and veg­gies. No overly pro­cessed foods. Around that time, I’ll prob­a­bly also have a pro­tein drink called PB by San­i­tar­ium. They sent me a few sam­ples and I’m re­ally lov­ing it. It has a mix of fast and slow act­ing pro­teins which is ideal for me. I don’t eat much for the last cou­ple of hours be­fore play­ing so it’s usu­ally just a lot of wa­ter to hy­drate and maybe some sports drink for a bit of en­ergy and ele­crolytes.

What foods can you not live with­out?

For break­fast, I’ve been a Weet­bix kid for pretty much my whole life. I add some dif­fer­ent fruit to them each day to keep things in­ter­est­ing but I find it’s a great way to start the day. And it’s not a food, but I do love my cof­fee. I usu­ally have one in the morning with brekky and an­other at the train­ing ground. I’m usu­ally pretty well rested al­ready but some­times it just gives me the ex­tra kick that I need. The third would be any­thing that my mum cooks! She’s al­ways been a great cook, she can do all sorts of tra­di­tional Samoan food as well as a crumbed chicken and mixed veg­eta­bles that I can never say no to.

How im­por­tant is food to your train­ing regime?

Nutri­tion is a mas­sive part of be­ing able to per­form at your best. I’ve been lucky to have some great nu­tri­tion­ists at Mel­bourne City and with the Soc­ceroos who have helped me tweak my diet to help max­imise my body’s abil­ity to re­cover af­ter games and train­ing through the week. Es­pe­cially as I’m older than a lot of the other guys, it makes it even more im­por­tant for me to keep my body in good shape so that I can still play at the same level.

What do you look for in a pair of foot­ball boots?

I look for a com­bi­na­tion of com­fort and pro­tec­tion. We train ev­ery day so feel­ing com­fort­able in my boots is def­i­nitely pri­or­ity num­ber one. I’ve also had some foot in­juries over my ca­reer so feel­ing like my foot is pro­tected in the boot is re­ally im­por­tant as well. I’ve been re­ally happy with the most re­cent Vis­aros that New Bal­ance have pro­vided me.

Do you still own any boots from spe­cial games of your ca­reer?

I have to say that I have col­lected a lot more jer­seys than boots. I have jer­seys from a lot of the big­gest games that I have played in my ca­reer. Prob­a­bly the most mem­o­rable pair of boots that I still have with me are from the 2014 World Cup.

‘As I’m older than a lot of the other guys, it makes it even more im­por­tant for me to keep my body in good shape’

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