Logan McFadden – Lipscomb (Bisons)
Hometown: Birmingham, Ala.
Logan McFadden was brought up to eat well, play hard and never quit – until at least after the season. The standout defender, in her freshman year in 2018, helped lead the Lipscomb women’s soccer team to its best season ever as the Lady Bisons reached the second round of the Division 1 NCAA Tournament before losing to Duke.
She credits her parents, club soccer, and a motor that never stops for helping her become one of the top young college soccer players in the country. Fitness, nutrition and a love of the game have been her ingredients for success.
“Growing up and playing club soccer where we had four or five games in a weekend, I had no choice but to eat well and take care of my body,” said McFarland, who was named All-State two times (2017-18) at Indian Springs (Ala.) High School and was team captain in 2018.
“My parents made sure I was eating right for as long as I can remember. They would tell me to eat pasta on Friday nights before those weekend tournaments. They knew what I liked and what was best for me so I didn’t really think about it much. I just ate what they told me to eat.”
It wasn’t all fruits and vegetables for McFarland growing up, but she picked her spots with sweets.
“They let me have snacks and things at certain times, but they were not going to let me eat Oreos a couple hours before a game.”
As she got older, McFadden started taking ownership of what she was eating.
“When I was around 14, I started doing it on my own,” she says. “I would only eat some fruit or a yogurt for breakfast, and I felt really good during the day just with that.”
McFadden says she “feels” the results throughout the day when she is eating a healthy diet.
“If you eat poorly, you feel heavy and tired,” she says. “Here in college we have a fueling station where we have healthy options to get us through the day. How you eat and take care of your body is just as important as how you practice and train. It’s all part of being prepared for the games. You have to know your body and what it needs, and we have coaches and experts there to help and they provide everything we need.”
McFadden’s nutrition tips
Don’t eat late at night.
“I often get hungry around 9 o’clock at night and (my nutritionist) told me to eat a little more during the day and have things like yogurt which hold you over a little better.”
Pack healthy snacks.
“I have a yogurt in between classes and then just some fruit for lunch and maybe a nutria-grain bar. That really seems to work for me.”
Don’t try new things on game day.
During the season on game days, Lipscomb orders their pre-game meal from Panera Bread – something many soccer teams do. “I always get a small mac and cheese with a piece of bread and some fruit punch.”
Continue to fuel during and after games.
McFadden says she will eat a few gummies at halftime to help keep her sugar up and always a chocolate milk after the game.
Cross-Training Tips from McFadden
Find a cardio workout you enjoy.
“Spinning is a lot of fun. It’s such a great workout especially for your quads and hamstrings. We also play racquetball or use the rowing machine. There are a lot of different ways to get your cardio up which aren’t all taxing on your body.”
Develop a stretching routine.
McFadden said yoga has helped her avoid injury.
“I couldn’t believe how tight my muscles were until I started doing yoga,” she said. “Stretching is very important to help you prevent from pulling muscles.”
Remember the club experience
McFadden played her club soccer for Birmingham United Soccer Association (BUSA).
“I started when I was 12 years old,” she said. “We had a lot of success our first year. Our second year we had some injuries. But the third year we got a new coach (Ben Parks) and really started making some moves. We went to Nationals and were top three in our conference. We just had a lot of success and beat some really good teams.”
Playing club soccer helped improve her game but it also helped her find her right place on the pitch.
“One day our center back got hurt leading up to a game and the coach moved me there for that game,” she said. “I told him I didn’t know what I was doing, but he was a very defensive-minded coach and taught me so much. That was a big turning point for me. I felt like I had more impact on the game as a center back. I really liked it.”