Harry Kane is in the shape of his life and the form of the life, with 13 goals in his last eight matches for England and Tottenham Hotspur. It might look easy from afar but Kane said it is down to him working harder than ever, especially on his diet and recovery at home, away from the structured environment of the training grounds and team hotels.
Specifically, Kane has employed a personal chef, who is an expert in sports nutrition, who comes to his house six days a week to prepare healthy food. Kane says that is why he is quicker, stronger and leaner than ever now, better at holding off defenders, and even why he recovered quicker than expected from his ankle ligament injury sustained back in March.
Speaking at Spurs’ training ground at Enfield on Wednesday afternoon, but in preparation for England’s game with Slovenia on Thursday night, Kane explained the changes he has made in his own life recently, and the benefit that has shown on the pitch.
“I started doing it on 1 January, a new year's resolution,” Kane explained. “I met the guy in December. I don't know what made me go for it. We had a baby on the way, we knew that would take up a lot of time. I was cooking, my missus was cooking, the food was getting boring.” He then clarified he meant his own cooking, not his fiancee’s.
“I had a guy come round and explained what you could do, eating the right food at the right times,” Kane said. “It blew me away a bit. I'd never looked too much into it, but he explained what the body does and how he could help me recover. He helped me in the recovery from the injury, with foods I was eating.” When Kane injured ankle ligaments on 12 March, it was feared he would be out for six to eight weeks. He was back within four.
“He is there every day, Monday to Saturday, and leaves it in the fridge for Sunday,” Kane said. “I hardly ever see him because I'm at training, but he'll cook the food and leave it in the fridge. We've got a good plan going and it seems to be working.” The precise schedule of the meals, relating to training and matches, is important. “You could eat healthily all week and then carbs before a game, and that could make your body go into shock because you're not used to it,” Kane explained. “So maybe eat higher carbs sometimes, lower other times, making plans around training.”
The demands of the calendar, with Kane playing twice most weeks now for club and country, means that he has to work especially hard to make every possible improvement that he can to stay on top of his game. “When you're playing Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday there's not a lot of time to train,” Kane said. “So it's about making those little gains in other ways: ice baths, stretching, nutrition. That keeps as you as fresh as you can be. It's a big part of football nowadays.” Kane does not even drink alcohol during the football season, so committed is he to being the best player that he can.
Mauricio Pochettino says every week now how much he loves his 24-year-old centre forward and Gareth Southgate, who only gets to work with him every few months, is just as impressed. The England manager wishes all of his players were as focused as the man likely to be his next captain.
“He is absolutely the kind of role model you want,” Southgate said. “You’re talking about a player trying to maximise his ability and finding every edge. You want a mindset in a player that he wants to become one of the best in the world. That is a mindset that will inspire others. The more people like that in my squad, it starts to become a self-fulfilling prophecy with everyone striving for more.”
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