In our latest series, Uncommon - My life as a Rapids Academy player, we followed Rapids U-19 defender Jose Bencomo for a week.
After graduating from the Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Club and spending the last four years with the Academy, Bencomo has evolved into a powerful defender, who is comfortable in possession. Through his photo journal below, we get a glimpse into the life of a Development Academy player from the food he eats, to the rigorous school and training schedule, to his personal life.
Wednesday, August 16
"I recently got back from a trip to Switzerland. To help my body recover, I took an ice bath and used a foam roller to reduce muscle tension. The ice bath helps to soothe any soreness in my body, and the foam roller helps to decrease tightness in my muscle tissue. After my recovery session, I caught up on all of my homework and missing assignments due to my absence during the trip. Any time I finish a tournament or match, I watch film of myself to see what I can improve on and what I did well. Soccer is a sport where you never stop learning, so the more I can recognize my areas of improvement the better I can get. A big part of being an athlete is eating healthy, so I had a salad for dinner. The vegetables in the salad were a good source of fiber, and the chicken provided much-needed protein."
Thursday, August 17
"The Rapids Academy can help get its players into good colleges, but we have to do our part by putting in the work in all of our classes. After school, I drink my protein shake to help me meet my daily protein requirements, and get me prepared for my afternoon workout. My workout consists of cardio and strength training. In this workout I'm doing a core exercise called 'the dead bug.' This workout helps me activate my core muscles. I follow this up by elevating my heart rate up to zone 2 with a 25-minute jog. A quick jog everyday helps me maintain my fitness for all of my trainings and matches. I conclude all of my workouts by kicking around the soccer ball in the streets with my brother. He helps me improve my passing technique simply because practice makes perfect."
Friday, August 18
"This is a photo of me and my boy Jose after school, thinking of what's the next step in our life's journey. When I get home on Friday, I try to finish all of my homework so I can enjoy the rest of the weekend. I wrapped up the night with some quality time over a game of Uno with my brother. He always beats me, but we still enjoy it. I try to get at least 9-10 hours of sleep each night because sleep is key to recovery."
Saturday, August 19
"I always start my mornings with my favorite breakfast - a homemade omelette sandwich. I try to drink as much water as I can throughout the day so I can stay hydrated. I spend the majority of my Saturdays proving to my friends that I am the better FIFA player, or relaxing by watching a movie or television show."
Sunday, August 20
"I began my Sunday with my normal workout routine. Later in the afternoon, I went to Dick's Sporting Goods Park for my 2017 Media Day, where we had our headshots taken for the new season. The start of a new year with the Rapids always comes with a smile. It's a new season and I have a new number, but we always have the same goal - to become National Champions. I wrapped up the weekend with one of my favorite protein-packed dinners - chicken alfredo with bread."