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Home / Fitness and Health / How to Play Olympics and Pro Soccer Julie Ertz Is Training for the 2019 Women's World Cup

How to Play Olympics and Pro Soccer Julie Ertz Is Training for the 2019 Women's World Cup

It's been almost four years since Julie Ertz and her teammates won the 2015 FIFA World Cup [defWomen'sSoccerTeamsince1999 Ertz (née Johnston), who then, at 23, was the second-youngest player on the winning squad, serving no small role.

In the time since that history-making milestone, both in [19459004soccer and in her personal life.

For starters, the Mesa, Arizona added more accolades to her resume, including Olympic athlete and US Soccer Female Player of the Year (201

7). She changed positions on the field from central defense to defensive midfield. And so they changed their name, marrying college sweetheart and fellow pro athlete Zach Ertz, a tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles, in 2017. Together, they started a nonprofit foundation last year, the Ertz Family Foundation that promotes access to education and sports.

"I've been able to play this game until I'm 60 because." I love it so much, "Ertz, now 26, tells SELF. "I love coming together to score a goal-as basic as that is, I love every aspect of it." That's pure passion pushes. Women's National Team (USWNT), which is headed for the 2019 Women's World Cup this June. The official roster for the USWorld Cup team has yet to be announced, but Ertz has been a consistent key player in WSWNT games, including the World Cup qualifying game last October.) So play for pro women's team the Chicago Red Stars.

In the lead up to this summer's 2019 Women's World Cup, we chatted with Ertz to learn exactly how she's been training for the high-stakes season ahead, how to handle the pressure of competition, her future goals with the sport, and more

Meg Oliphant / Getty Images

"It's so wild now," says Ertz of her current training schedule with the USWNT, which started in December and a half hours of training every day, six days a week. Thesis 20-plus-hour weeks include "[a]" [19459254] (either outside or on the treadmill), weightlifting and technical soccer drills, plus recovery-focused activities, like Yoga and Pilates.

When it comes to weight training, Ertz does not lift super heavy, but instead focuses on targeting certain muscles. "It's really important to hit the big muscles, but a lot of People forget the smaller muscles, which are just as important, especially in such a multi-dimensional sport where you are running up and down in every direction, "she explains. BTSU ball

She also loves band work and single-leg movements [1969004]like single leg squats and lunges, to improve stability in her lower half and core. Because having a strong core is so important in soccer (it's key for stability, strength, power, and coordination), Ertz does lots of toe touches, standard crunches, and crumbs, as well as classic core moves with a twist, like planks with step-outs or planks on an exercise ball.

And yet, as intense as her routine already sounds, "says Ertz , For now, she and Zach reside in the San Francisco Bay Area, though in March, she wants to relocate to Chicago to begin Training and competing with the Chicago Red Stars. At the same time, her workouts with the USWNT want to ramp up even more in both intensity and duration. Ertz of the time commitment this upcoming training season will require.

Through it all, she'll stay focused and motivated with the help of her favorite gym partner: her husband , "We do not want to see each other as much as we want, so any time we have together, we want to use it," she says. Though they do not do the same workouts when they hit the gym together, they motivate each other in other ways. "It's awesome to have the same mindset of our workouts and what do you want to get out of them," says Ertz. Zach, therefore, provides important emotional support. Bob Kupbens / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ertz also handles

As mentioned, Ertz really, really loves soccer. But she knows it's not a forever job. "I just have got to the point where I do not know how long [I will be able to play]," says Ertz. That's why approach with every training session and every game, now it's hard to do anything. "I really think that every time I go into the training room," says Ertz.

This mindset is not always automatic though. At the beginning of every year, Ertz creates a new playlist with songs spanning different genres that remind her to stay grateful. She'll listen to it before workouts and big games. This year's list includes "Bad Liar" by Imagine Dragons, "Going Bad" by Drake, "I Am Who You Say I Am" by Hillsong, "Someone to You" by Banners, and "Born to Be Yours," by Kygo.

Nutrition in general is one of the most important things for me to stay healthy and have energy, "says Ertz , She is not too full during morning workouts .

From there, she'll snack throughout the day. Fruit and almonds are staples in their ever-shifting schedule (Ertz recently partnered with California Almonds), and she and Zach also love to cook together. Their favorite dishes include tacos, burritos, and "a big old salad" with kale, mixed greens, fruits, vegetables, homemade dressing, and more. Essentially, "whatever we have in the house, we'll throw in," says Ertz.

David Crotty / Getty Images

During especially big games, they relies on her support system to keep her nerves in check.

19659025] The spotlight of big-name matches like the World Cup and the Olympics can be incredibly intense. During the final match of the 2015 World Cup, for example, more than 50,000 fans packed into the stadium, and an additional 25.4 million viewers watched live on TV, they made the most most-watched soccer game ever on English-language television channel in the United States. The pressure must be nerve-wracking, right?

"I can not say I do not get nervous, but I am so excited as I'm nervous," Ertz says. Down to. "[anyone] down." To stay calm, Ertz relies on her primary support system-her husband, teammates, and trainers-for words of encouragement. "It's so amazing how much positive feedback helps, and they [give me] say that," Ertz says, "whoever credits her faith with helping to handle the pressure."

Beyond that, she takes comfort in knowing just how hard she's worked for that moment.

First, the obvious: "As you look ahead to the upcoming season, Ertz has a few goals (pun intended) in mind."

First, the obvious: "The more prepared you feel, the less nervous you are." Everyone who goes to the World Cup wants to win it, so that's definitely a goal, probably the ultimate goal, "says Ertz.

As for her individual goals: "I want to be the best teammate that I can be, "says Ertz. "I know it's not a numerical [goal]but I think that's really important in the tournament."


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