Without doubt the biggest difference people think about between the UK and the USA, tends to be that the USA is so much warmer than the UK, which in most cases is true from March to November, depending on location. However, unless you live on the south coast, this weather quickly turns extremely cold, colder than in the UK. You can literally go from wearing shorts and a t-shirt one day to wearing 4 layers, hat and gloves the next.
The climate can have a huge impact on a player’s performance. For me, moving to the mid-south of America was a huge culture shock from the north of England. For a fair-haired lad, the sun has never really been my best friend, but then training 3 times a day in 30+ degree heat definitely didn’t come naturally to me. Being a full back, it’s obviously very important to be physically fit, which is something I always thought that I was. However, if you thought pre-season in England was tough, wait until you take that step over the pond. Lots of coaches in the USA put a massive emphasis on being at peak physical fitness, and to play in the heat that August, September, October, and even the early stages of November provide, you can certainly understand why.
As a footballer, most people understand that there’s a difference between being fit, and football fit. It wasn’t the actual fitness sessions that I struggled with, I could run bouts and pitch runs in the required times, I got good scores on the bleep test, and running up and down hills wasn’t a problem. Where I struggled was in the football sessions, I was sluggish, I wasn’t sharp, and mentally I was drained. Obviously the three sessions a day had a part to play in that, but the humidity at the beginning was a lot to handle, it felt very heavy. This resulted in poor performances in training probably for around 3 weeks, until I began to get used to it and the three sessions a day began to reduce to just one, and I started to feel my legs again. However, I did start to feel embarrassed, I had been signed on a full scholarship, and I thought that I was letting myself down, and not doing myself justice. In reality, people just acclimatise at different rates, so it’s important to remember that if you’re struggling through your first few weeks.
At FiveZero we are proud to work with BR Performance. BR Performance is an online video personal training and nutritional service that will tailor a training and nutritional programme specific to each individual, provide an exercise catalogue, weekly catch up calls. BR Performance was set up by Ben Richardson, was a Student-Athlete in the USA so knows exactly what it takes to achieve peak performance when moving stateside.
FiveZero want to provide a complete tailored service to each individual, providing many different solutions and options in to complete a specific package for each individual. For an informal chat about our services, or you have questions about the sports scholarship process, get in touch and we can help you through your scholarship journey.