This is a summary of an interview The Daily Telegraph newspaper did with Gareth Bale, Real Madrid and Spain player.
For those young players following in his (Bale’s) footsteps, he says that a willingness to absorb advice and to keep searching for continuous improvement are the keys...” You just have to listen to what experienced people are telling you, “says Bale. “You’ve, obviously got to listen to what they want you to do in training and in matches and commit to improving every aspect of your game. Now that sports science is more advanced we know that there are so many off-pitch factors that can affect how good you can become. If people are telling you to sleep a certain number of hours, eat specific foods and drink a certain volume of fluids, then you have to be prepared to listen and learn.”
Bale says that specific improvements for him since playing in Spain are largely related to his close control. ..”There’s a lot of one touch close-range passing and that has, definitely, improved my play in small areas. I definitely feel like I’m developing. Playing with and for the best can only help you to improve.”
One specific focus has also been Bale’s sleep, and a conscious attempt to regulate his habits has led to the development of an airline mattress that travels with him around Europe in order to minimize differences from his usual environment.
“The Staff at Real Madrid are meticulous,” says Bale, “There are smaller details like sleep that they have stressed are, incredibly, important. I have always been brought up with the idea that sleep is the best form of recovery. I’ve spoken to a sleep expert and they have told me to always try to go to bed and wake up at a similar time every night and morning. Getting this consistency becomes difficult when you are flying back from away night matches like the game in Munich….
Bale has also analyzed when his energy peaks and is thankful for football’s, generally, later kick – offs. I’ve never been a morning person- apparently that’s due to my natural body clock, which is why I naturally fall asleep and wake up at later times. A good night’s sleep can help performance, and, apparently, a few restless nights may weaken your immune system and reduce power and strength which is a key part of my game.”
For ideas on improving sleep habits and sleep innovations visit - simbasleep.com. Apparently Gareth Bale is an ambassador for this company.