Eat, sleep, practise. Polish toenails. Practise. Play.
This is the prescription for the women's national soccer team as they prepare for the London Summer Games and set their sights on an Olympic medal.
"Our motto on our team is look good, feel good, play good," said Desiree Scott, a clever, high-energy midfielder for both Canada and the Whitecaps women's team.
"On and off the pitch, we're a tight-knit group and that helps us on the field if we get along off it," she said.
Canada is staging its residency in Vancouver, where seven players also compete for the Vancouver Whitecaps in the W-League of the United Soccer Leagues.
In addition to Scott, Vancouver's Shannon Woeller plays for the Caps, as do Melanie Booth, Chelsea Buckland, Kaylyn Kyle, Britany Timko and Chelsea Stewart.
Team Canada practised Tuesday afternoon in Richmond. Wednesday morning these seven athletes were in Burnaby, resting but picking up tactical lessons from Whitecaps coach Jesse Symons. Thursday morning they were at Jericho Beach Park, training again with Canada. That evening they scrimmaged in Burnaby.
Friday night they kick off their 'Caps W-League season opener against the Colorado Rush.
The two programs co-ordinate although the national team takes priority in the weeks before the Summer Olympics.
"It's a big preparation stage for us right now," said Scott. "It's great to stay connected with our local club. The national team is taking a bit of precedence but we're pumped to play for the Whitecaps as well when we can."
Leading up to the World Cup last summer, the national team trained and lived in Rome for three months. Head coach Carolina Morace, who is Italian, was fired after the team failed to meet expectations and advance out of the opening group stage.
The new leadership of head coach John Herdman introduced a different tone, said Scott, and the Vancouver residency brings a more familiar atmosphere.
"Who wouldn't' want to spend a few months [in Rome] to train? But it is great to be at home where you have use of your cellphone and where you can have that balanced lifestyle where you're working hard on the pitch and see your friends or family if you want to. That balanced aspect is so much better having us in Canada."
There are more positive changes, she said.
"For me, personally, under John he's given me a confidence I didn't have before. He's made the program fun again. We're all just so pumped to be here, so pumped to train every day and it's a happier environment here for sure and we're loving it."
The team bonds over group dinners and at-home spa treatments. Scott likes her nails "as bright pink as you can get."
Whitecaps head coach Symons said his squad benefits from the focus and experience of the national team players and recognizes the "big picture" of Canada's Olympic aspirations.
"It's an exciting time," he said.
The Whitecaps were humbled last weekend in their season opener against the Victoria Highlanders, who won only one game last year but started this summer campaign with a 3-2 victory over Vancouver.
The W-League is a dramatically different conference than last year since the tumultuous demise of the East Coast-based Women's Professional Soccer. U.S. national team stars, including goaltender Hope Solo, were picked up by Whitecaps competition like the Seattle Sounders and the Pali Blues. The coach of the L.A. Sol described the W-League roster gains from the WPS as a "feeding frenzy."
Symons and Scott both said the Whitecaps, who finished second in the Western Conference behind the Blues, will rise to meet the heightened demands of the competition.
"The caliber of play is going to go up, the intensity is going to increase and the pace of the game will be quicker," said Scott, who will play her first Caps game Friday night. "Every game is going to be a tough battle because the caliber has gone up. The harder the games are, the more it will make us work and the harder we'll have to work."
The Whitecaps W-League home opener against the Rush begins 7:30 p.m. Friday at McLeod Athletic Park in Langley.