Leading up to match day, preparation is key for Darlington Nagbe. While at home, the midfield stays focused on eating properly to prepare his body for a 90-minute match.
"I always try and make sure that I have the right stuff in my body to prepare for the game. The day before the game, I try to eat properly and drink a lot of water, which is key."
On the day of the game, Nagbe couples healthy eating along with quality family time with his wife and two children before heading out to Providence Park to join his teammates.
"In the morning, I'll make sure to drink more water and have breakfast to get a good start on the day. Following breakfast, I usually try to take a nap before lunch time, depending on how I feel. From there, I'll spend time with the kids and play around with them as I try to go about my day as normal as possible.
Once the kids are asleep, I usually like to spend time with my wife again, while getting ready for the game. At around 3:30 p.m. or so, if it's a 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. game, I'll have a pregame meal, which is usually something along the lines of chicken and rice or pasta."
While gearing up for kickoff, Nagbe stays away from putting too much emphasis on the match mentally, attempting to stay in a relaxed mindset before heading out onto the pitch.
"Once I get to the stadium, I try to keep things as simple as possible, and I usually try not to focus on the game too much. I just try to be calm and at ease. I also like to take time to say hi to everyone–my teammates, the trainers and the coaches. Also I don't have any superstitions before the game. But, during the national anthem, I'll take some time to say a prayer. Also I usually try and wave to the fans before we huddle up."