A weekend in Vienna
03 sep 2017
I went to Vienna last weekend, to assist Boli Bolingoli with the practical part of his transfer to Austrian club Rapid. In the last few weeks, countless transfers have been made in Europe, but for the player, a transfer is more than an autograph, a tweet and a new jersey. So, what else happens when you move abroad as a football player? Let’s find out…
DAY 1: the unpacking
After some early HIIT (for those who don’t know what HITT is, High Intensity Interval Training, or sweating your ass off) with Emeraude, Boli’s brother, and some other meetings, I leave for Austria, to arrive in the late afternoon. Boli, who just moved into his new apartment, used the time to go to Ikea to wrap up the delivery of his furniture, while me and a friend of his started unpacking everything. Because of the long list of stuff to install, Boli had a pretty unusual evening, the day before the match. But on the other hand, would, lying down in the sofa and watching Netflix all night, have been a better preparation for the match next day? The negative impact of blue light (from electronic devices) on the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, makes me say ‘no’.
It’s hot in Vienna. So I’m prepping supplements for Boli (Magnesium to support the muscles) before his game later that day. While Boli is at the hotel with the team, preparing for the game, I’m looking after the handling of his furniture, I’m installing the wi-fi, doing healthy groceries, so he can pick up the right lifestyle he needs when I’m not there. After watching the game in the stadium (SK Rapid won 1-0 by the way, and their fans love to push them forward in the last 15’ of the game – lovely spectacle), I meet up with Boli, his teammates and the staff members at the players’ home, a great opportunity to talk about how best to support your client.
DAY 3: Start young
While Boli is resting his muscles after the game, I’m up early to get a fresh start and to prep a healthy lunch. Later that day I meet up with SK Rapid U18 player Max Boonstoppel, for nutritional advice. The right lifestyle isn’t just beneficial when you become a pro, it’s how you become a pro. Afterwards, Max and I do a strength endurance training and some fast breathing hypoxia (remember my last blog) exercises. After planning the next two days (a good schedule keeps your focus on the field), it’s time for bed.
DAY 4: Ready for the season
We’re finishing up at Boli’s apartment. Furniture gets installed, illumination gets settled, Boli is set for the start of hopefully a great season. Time to celebrate with a good dinner. We finish the day by making plans for the next month: I will be going back to Vienna monthly to make sure Boli keeps up with his schedule and is getting the maximum out of his performances on the field.
DAY 5: Time to go home
Boli has a heavy day ahead of him, with 2 training sessions and a language lesson. Meanwhile, I am doing some phone calls and answering some e-mails, making sure my other clients are followed up (you can never forget anybody when you’re part of their entourage) and I make some meals for the following days for Boli (he might get inspired). Going home, the message of this trip is clear: it’s hard to play abroad, but both Boli and Max show that motivation, willpower and a good entourage are the key ingredients to succeeding anywhere. Good luck boys!
Are you or have you just made a transfer abroad? It can be scary at first, but you don’t have to go on this journey alone. Feel free to contact me and see how we can cooperate!