After a great first day and showing Darnell King how to play cards last night (haha), the alarm sounded this morning at 6:40 a.m. Today marks the 2nd training day here at IMG Academy. First, Ken Tribbett and I were off to the cafeteria a little before 7 a.m. for some much-needed morning coffee and breakfast before our first session.
As we got to the locker room, the speaker is blasting with some quality upbeat music to get us hyped up for training. The music is a great, but I think everyone’s already excited to get out there because as soon as you see the beautifully cut, green grass IMG provides you, you can’t wait to get out on the pitch and start pinging the ball around.
As the clock hit 9:30am, it’s time to get the show on the road. The “men in red” (goalkeepers) are off to do our own keeper specific training before we come back and rejoin the squad. Matt Pickens puts himself, Connor Sparrow, and I through some drills to prepare us for the rest of training and first preseason game tomorrow.
Before you know it, we’re reunited back with the team where we worked on some possession drills, and later finished up with a little small sided game to goals. After three 6-minute games the session is completely finished and the banter begins, as the winning team decides to rub in the scoreline to the other guys. Which side was I on? Winners, come on.
As we head inside, we had a quick pitstop into the classroom for a video session on some clips of our training from the day and to review key points provided throughout the session. As the video session come to a close, IT’S LUNCH TIME!!! As quickly as we can, we pack out the 15-passenger van to get over to the cafeteria to beat the rush of students just getting out of class. The guys and I all grab a quick bite to eat before heading back to the villas for a little downtime before the 2nd session.
After a short break, we’re right back on the field as we prepare ourselves for the game vs. Montreal tomorrow afternoon. It was a great session doing some 8 v 6 to a goal and finishing up with some shooting at the end. The guys on the field know how well that went for me. Thanks JD! Before the day is finally done, a couple guys decide to put in some extra work, working on their crosses, free kicks, and my personal favorite…penalty kicks!
To end the day the squad headed back over to the cafeteria to eat some dinner where it's Taco Tuesday down here in IMG. Conversations vary from table to table talking about everything from tomorrow’s game, to how Christopher Columbus discovered America. A nice little history lesson for our international friends!
After dinner, we head back to the villa to rest up for game day tomorrow. Time to close out another night with some cards with the housemates. We’re enjoying ourselves down here in Bradenton, Florida. Amazing weather, great facilities, and some great soccer which make for an awesome experience, and its only Tuesday! Game tomorrow, and we are buzzing to get out there!