As clubs all across Australia begin their preparation for the grassroots season, FourFourTwo chats with Liverpool engine room Jordan Henderson to offer some tips to ensure you hit the ground running.
Eat smart to keep sharp
"When you're not exercising and resting, take on less carbohydrates and focus on protein. Then when you start training you switch the focus around, but don't overload on the carbs - build up your intake as the intensity of your training increases. Protein will also help your muscles recover. Before training I have cereal or toast, and after training I'll have pasta or white fish for lunch. For dinner I'll go for salad, vegetables and chicken."
Rest to recover
"After a session you need to give your body time to recover. I like to go to the pool to do some dynamic stretching in the water and jogging on the spot to loosen the muscles. As you get closer to your first friendly, recovery becomes even more important. To speed this up, make sure you're getting plenty of fluid in your system after training. The day after a friendly, concentrate on recovery. This could be with a light upper-body weights session, a pool session, an ice bath or maybe a light training session."
"Before the season starts it's important that everyone in the team knows what you're trying to achieve and how you're trying to achieve it. When the first game arrives, focus on what you want to do in the match. I set myself the target of being the best player on the pitch. As a midfielder I aim to make an assist, so I think about making the right pass for the strikers. Is he quick? Does he like the ball to his feet? Does he like it in behind? Once I've made the pass I follow it and get in the box."