Have you ever wondered how an olympic athlete fuels her mind and body? Julie Ertz plays as a midfielder for the Chicago Red Stars of the National Women’s Soccer League and is also part of the United States Women’s National Soccer Team. As she shares here, while it is vitally important, being an athlete is not just about physical conditioning—mental health and self-care play a huge role. Read on to learn the details of Ertz ‘s own training and self-care regimens.
Jess Cording: What is your training workout routine like?
Julie Ertz: My training routine varies day to day because [at the time of this interview] our NWSL season is about to start and our national team has already begun preparation for the World Cup. So most of my days are training with a soccer ball and fitness. I incorporate a lot of single leg squats and stability ball work to strengthen the smaller muscle groups which helps prevent injury. I love lifting and now isn’t the time for a really heavy lift but lifting is still good to keep my muscles strong this push for the next few months.
Cording: What is your diet like when training?
Ertz: Energy and nutrition are the most important aspects to help me own it while I’m preparing for the World Cup. Because I’m training all day, it’s important to keep healthy snacks on hand. My go-to’s are fruit, veggies and protein-packed snacks like almonds. I also like to plan ahead in terms of meals and snacks because it easy to make an unhealthy choice when you don’t have a snack in your bag or meal pre-planned. My husband and I love to cook at home so we’re very mindful about planning out our meals. We want to make sure we have the healthiest choices for us because we both train all day, every day.
Cording: Do you incorporate other forms of self-care to support your training?
Ertz: Our faith is huge—it’s continued to grow throughout my career. It provides a whole new perspective in our sport and in our life. It’s opened our eyes to more things and was the driving force that prompted us to start our Ertz Family Foundation.
Cording: How does your routine differ in the off-season?
Ertz: My routine changes in the off season because I usually take a few weeks off. Usually, I just do yoga or swimming to move but let my body relax. Then my training starts to build gradually. But I really use this time to invest in other interests so I can get my mind off soccer because all year that’s what I am focused on.
Cording: How does mindset play in to your performance? What do you do to work on getting into that optimal mindset?
Ertz: The mental aspect of professional sports is everything. I have found the more prepared I am the better mindset I am in. So I train my mindset as well. And music helps.
Cording: Do you have any go-to products, habits, or practices that help you feel your best when traveling?
Ertz: I like to eat clean when I’m on the road because it helps to keep my energy up. Having a routine helps. I have a water bottle on me at all times and electrolytes to continue my hydration.
Cording: What is something you wish you had known about self-care at the beginning of your career?
Ertz: I would have loved to realize how important my alone time is for me to make sure I am in a good place. Sometimes just being able to reflect on my goals and relax helps me have a better plan or perspective going forward. It’s all about finding what works for you. I’ve also become more comfortable talking to my support group to help me with those goals.
Julie is a spokesperson on behalf of California Almonds.