PLAYER PERSPECTIVE: SHUAIB WALTERS Follow on Twitter
I have barely seen the inside of my home in the past few weeks, and upon reflection it made sense to explain what this experience has been like for me over the years.
Being a professional footballer means that we spend a lot of time travelling. Sometimes the travelling can take place over a few days, and even weeks at a time. Having my schedule in advance, as is the case on most occasions, means that I can plan for more family time before travelling for longer periods. It also means that I can mentally prepare for the travels, and so can my family.
Ahead of our travels on Wednesday, the kids and I went to Cool Runnings and Wonderful to play games for the day. It was time to relax and create important memories. We definitely managed to accomplish this!
And then came Wednesday. Travel day! We normally travel by air. However, there are also a few roadtrips by bus when our opposition is not based close to an airport. I usually welcome the long bus drives as this becomes my “me time”. With little distraction, I am able to catch up on my reading. I am currently reading “Leading” by Sir Alex Ferguson. It’s thought-provoking at the very least.
Traveling also means that my emails and business ideas get the attention which they deserve. I also get to catch up on movies that I normally don’t have time to watch.
Even though I have been travelling for years I can never get used to living in hotels for long periods and therefore try and include as much of my daily activities in my travels while I am away from home. I would gym, run, or if possible cycle, in my own time.
Although the hotels cater for most of my diet, they don’t cater for those all-important snacks, so I go out and buy my own favourites such as my green tea, kale chips and organic nuts.
Meditation is an important part of my daily routine and it is no different, when I am away from home.
The advantage of being on the road is that I am able to catch up with my team-mates and build on our relationships. We spend a lot of time watching football matches and voicing our opinions, which is great for team building but also to understand their opinions. This extra bonding has been known to translate onto the pitch as well.
I normally room with Ebrahim Seedat, which is great as he is one of my closest friends. Because we are both Muslim, we tend to dedicate time to discussing our religious beliefs and how it impacts our daily lives. As I am older and wiser (hehehe) he would normally also look to me for advice on his career and sometimes even life related matters.
I can honestly say that travelling is not my favorite part of my career; however I have accepted it as part of the package and try and make the most of it. I have learnt to see traveling as an opportunity to learn something or experience something new, even if it is just trying a new dish in a different city or visiting a popular landmark.
Till next week!
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