Rising University of Florida junior Parker Roberts had an extended Spring Break in March as she joined the U.S. Under-23 National Team for the Thorns Spring Invitational in Portland. Roberts, who was among the 23 current collegiate players and one professional on this U-23 roster, joined Natalie Jacobs (USC), Ellie Jean and Kaleigh Riehl from Penn State as the only four who were part of the U.S. 2016 U-20 Women’s World Cup team.
In Roberts’ first season with the Gators in 2017, the midfielder earned All-Southeastern Conference and SEC All-Tournament honors. She also appeared on the United Soccer Coaches All-Southeast Region third team and started every match for UF in 2017.
Roberts redshirted her 2016 season due to U.S. Under-20 National Team commitment for FIFA U-20 World Cup and appeared in two group play matches with a start against France – the U.S. finished fourth in the event held in Papua New Guinea.
A native of Leawood, Kan., Roberts transferred to Florida from Kansas after her freshman season. She was a 2015 Big 12 All-Freshman team selection at Kansas where she started 19 of 20 matches, scoring three goals (all game-winners).
Roberts played six years for KC Metro Dynamos, which reached US Youth Soccer (USYS) National Championships in both 2014 and 2015 and won Kansas State Cup Championships five of her six years with club. She also is a three-year member of Region II Olympic Development Program (ODP) team.
The sophomore recently shared her game-day routine with FUEL Soccer:
8:30 a.m.: Wake up
9 a.m.: Breakfast. “I like to have some eggs and oatmeal. Some protein and carbs.”
10:40 a.m.: The first of three classes.
3 p.m.: Pregame meal. “I like a big meal about four hours before the game. I also will have an energy bar right before the game.”
3:30 p.m.: Back to class. “I sometimes leave early. I like to have some time to prepare for the game mentally.
4:15 p.m.: Film session. “We watch film on our opponent and go over our assignments. After film we go to treatment if needed.”
5 p.m.: We have music playing in the locker room and get fired up for the game.
5:30 p.m.: Team meeting. “We go over our scouting report again with the coaches and reminders on how we want to attack. We also will watch some pump-up videos.”
6 p.m.: Warmup
Postgame: “Our postgame talk is always positive. We talk about what we did right and some areas we need to work on. We then have a cool down and stretch. I like to have a message and ice bath after a game.”
Manage your time
- Don’t waste time. Roberts was a member of Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll and takes her studies with the same serious approach she applies to soccer. “Having four classes a day can be exhausting sometimes,” she says. “When you have free time it’s important to use that time wisely and get things done. I like to start studying well in advance of a test.”
- Get plenty of rest. Preparation for a game begins look before the first touch of a match for Roberts, whose daily routine includes the big three: Focus, fun and family. “The night before a game we have a team dinner and we focus on the game but it’s also a great bonding time and fun time,” she says. “If my parents are in town for the game I will spend some time with them too. If not, I will just relax and maybe watch a movie.” She likes to be in bed by 10 p.m. on game day.
- Take advantage of the school’s resources. Many colleges assist students with staying ahead of the game and it’s important to know what your school can do for you and take advantage of everything they have to offer, especially when it comes to time management. “Try to maximize your free time and also utilize the resources that are offered to you by the school,” Roberts says. “We have an online planner for classwork that I use every day. I also have a planner with my assignments and things I need to do.”