How Olympian and Pro Soccer Player Julie Ertz Is Training for the 2019 Women’s World Cup

How Olympian and Pro Soccer Player Julie Ertz Is Training for the 2019 Women’s World Cup

This mindset isn’t 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.

To stay energized through all that training, Ertz eats often throughout the day.

“Nutrition in general is one of the most important things for me to stay healthy and have energy,” says Ertz. She typically keeps breakfast light (think: smoothies or oatmeal) so she’s not too full during morning workouts.

From there, she’ll snack throughout the day. Fruit and almonds are staples in her 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. “I enjoy going to the farmers market as well and having what’s available there,” she adds.

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

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, making it the most-watched soccer game ever on an English-language television channel in the United States. The pressure must be nerve-wracking, right?

“I can’t say I don’t get nervous, but I am also probably as excited as I am nervous,” Ertz says. “Every time you put on the crest [the symbol on the USWNT jersey], you are representing the country, and that’s such an honor that you don’t want to let [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] that,” says Ertz, who also credits her faith with helping her handle the pressure.

Beyond that, she takes comfort in knowing just how hard she’s worked for that moment. “The more prepared you feel, the less nervous you are,” she says.

As she looks ahead to the upcoming season, Ertz has a few goals (pun intended) in mind.

First, the obvious: “Everyone who goes to the World Cup wants to win it, so that definitely is a goal, probably the ultimate goal,” says Ertz. “Our team is continuing to grow and we want to go out there and play the best soccer that we can play, year in and year out.”

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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