As we all know, the competitive climate within today’s sports world has run rampant, and, as a result, athletes of all levels are seeking any advantage they can possibly gain. But aside from the physical training aspect of making yourself into the stud athlete you have always dreamt of one day becoming, what is it that actually separates the so called “good” from the “great”? And the answer to that question, my friends, lies in recovery: the quicker you can recover, the faster you can improve.
Almost exactly one year ago, the final whistle of the Gold Cup blew on a warm evening in Pasadena, California. The U.S men’s national team, under then-head coach Bob Bradley, had just been romped and embarrassed by Mexico 4-2, the culmination of an inconsistent year of football. After a somewhat successful run in the 2010 World Cup, the team underwhelmed in the months after by repeatedly drawing or losing against weaker sides like Panama and Paraguay; sides that they should normally defeat. It’s as if the U.S took a step forward only to take two steps back. That’s when U.S Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati decided it was time for change. Out went the monotonous, defensive-minded Bob Bradley and in came the up-tempo Jurgen Klinsmann, former head coach of Germany’s national squad and soccer star of the top-flight European clubs in his playing days.