Long walks and missing slide tackles
Weston McKennie spoke to schalke04.de about training in small groups, walks with his dogs and his family back in the United States.
Weston, you scored the last Schalke goal in the Bundesliga almost two months ago against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, with the season being postponed just days after the game. How are you staying mentally fit?
It’s not easy, but our job is to stay focused, even if we don’t know when we can play football again. I’m ready to restart at any time and I hope we finish the season well.
The team is currently training in small groups. What kind of drills are you missing the most?
Definitely tackling in a classic training game. Four against four or seven against seven is always hotly contested. I’m really missing fighting for the ball and making a slide tackle.
How are you spending your time when you’re not training?
I’m training a lot right now – with my own fitness equipment at home too. I do like to relax now and again though. I like to play Fortnite and FIFA. I also enjoy taking my dogs for a walk.
I’m really missing fighting for the ball and making a slide tackle.
Do walks help to relax you?
Yeah, they help to clear my head. To be honest, they’re not really walks (laughs). When I’m out with my husky, I ride my bike instead, which works better for both of us. My akita is a lot more chilled. She prefers to go at a slower pace, so they are more like walks with her.
Your family live in America. How are they doing?
They’re good and healthy. We speak on the phone a lot. I like to know how things are where they are – and of course they ask me how live in Gelsenkirchen is.
Are you looking forward to the next time you can fly back to the States?
Definitely. I haven’t been home for almost a year now. My last trip was last summer, so I hope to see my family soon and give them all a hug. I also can’t wait to see some of my old friends too.
Together with some of your US teammates, you are taking part in the ‘Feeding America’ initiative. How did that come about?
We all agreed that we wanted to try and help people who don’t have things that easy. Nobody should be starving. I’ve had a lot of luck in my life, so I wanted to give something back.