Interview: Damian Kądzior
Polish professional footballer Damian Kądzior gives us an insight into his daily training habits below. Damien is a winger who plays for Polish side Piast Gliwice and made his debut for his Poland on 11 September 2018 in a friendly against Ireland. His first goal for Poland came on 10 June 2019, against Israel during the UEFA 2020 Qualifiers.
How many times per week do you train by yourself without the team?
I train outside of the club 3-4 times per week. For two sessions I work on myself physically with a coach. We focus on strength, power and mobility, as well as developing the muscles surrounding my core and spine. The third session I try to do on the pitch to work on my own individual game or I will do a 45 minute swim. For the final session I work with a mental coach for 1 hour every week.
What extra training do you think has given you the biggest improvement in performance?
Every single session gives me an opportunity to become even a tiny % better. Even at 29 years old I continue to search for the small % improvement from every training session.
Describe a typical day in your life (in-season)
My typical day starts at 7am in the morning. I drink water and take my dogs out for a walk, then when I'm back I prepare breakfast so that I can eat around 3 hours before I train.
By 10am I'm at the club, preparing for our 11am session which runs for 2 hours. I get back home around 2:30pm to eat lunch and rest before the second session if I have one.
Every evening with my wife we take the dogs out again for a walk so I can focus on regeneration and spend some time with my family. We have dinner and then either spend some time reading or watch a series on Netflix. I usually go to sleep around 10:30pm.
What is your favourite pre-match meal?
Mainly I like eat something light but sometimes if the game is later like 8pm, I'll eat some pancakes with different fruits or peanut butter.
What do you usually eat or drink at half time?
At half time I always have water and sometimes an isotonic drink.I dont like to eating too much, sometimes I might have a small banana, some dates or a carbohydrate gel.
What’s your favourite post match meal?
My favourite post match meal is pasta. I don't like pizza and I need to get carbs on fast so I choose pasta. I also like to have a protein shake with coconut milk.
Do you take any nutritional supplements and how do they benefit you? (whey protein, glutamine etc.)
Yes I take whey protein after gym sessions, BCAA's, beta alanine and some vitamins such as D3 and zinc.
What methods do you use to help your body recover more quickly? (Massage, ice bath etc.)
Mainly having a clean diet and getting good amounts of sleep. But I also use a sauna sometimes and have a massage. Every day after training I also switch between hot and cold bath water every 2 minutes. At home I also have a massage gun and recovery pumps, they're really important to reduce injuries.
If you could offer one piece of advice to a young footballer who wants to become a pro, what would it be?
My journey with football was very difficult. I played at every level in Poland from the 5th division up until the national team. What I can tell you is to be focused 100% on football, it must be your passion and love. Then hard work, work with good people who want to help you and don't give up in bad moments.
What is the best piece of advice a coach/role model has ever given you?
I think for my style of play the best was when a coach told me he trusted me to have freedom in the offensive zone and to enjoy the football and be creative. Don't think about mistakes, if you lose the ball 5 times trying to play 6 key passes and one gets through and makes the difference then we could win. With this coach I had the best season of my life.
When stepping up to first team level, what did you feel was the biggest difference between youth and senior football?
The big difference is mainly physical. It's really good to play with seniors as soon as possible, I started when I was 20 and felt it was a bit late.
What do you think has given you the edge over other players you've played with or against throughout your career who haven't made it as far as you?
My junior team won the Champions of Poland young team, from this 7 players went on to play in the highest division in Poland but eventually only 2 players stayed in professional football. I think my hard work and stubborness is the key to this.
Also I've met good people who have helped me in my football journey (coaches, parents, my wife, mental coaches.) I invested a lot of time and money into my own development even if I didn't make anything back until I was 24-25 years old. I think life is like this, what you invest in yourself will eventually pay you back twice over.
We'd like to thank Damian for taking the time to answer our questions and wish him all the best throughout his career. You can follow Damian on instagram @damiankadzior and check him out in action below.