Gabi’s leap: how tip changed diet and sleep towards the top | volleyball

The girlish demeanor and hurried speech remain ten years later. But they are, perhaps, the only traces that refer to that day. The promise label is long gone. Today, at 28, Gabi is the main name of the Brazilian team. On court, she lives her peak: she is, for many, the best player in the world today. With the status of a phenomenon, she carries the hopes of an unprecedented title for Brazil in the Women’s Volleyball World Cup, which starts this Friday, in Holland and Poland. Always, however, with a smile on his face.

Brazil debuts in the World Cup this Saturday, at 15:30, against the Czech Republic. Sportv2 broadcasts the match live, and ge follows everything in real time. The team is in group D of the World Cup and is looking for a place among the four that advance to the second phase.

1 of 7 Gabi celebrates a point for the Brazilian team — Photo: Disclosure / FIVB

Gabi celebrates a point for the Brazilian team – Photo: Disclosure / FIVB

+ Check out the complete table of the Volleyball World Cup

Discovered at Mackenzie, from Minas, at the age of 17, Gabi was not slow to be identified at the time as a bet for the future of a team that would soon win its second Olympic gold. She gained prominence, accumulated titles in Rio de Janeiro and Minas and, little by little, conquered her space as a reference for Zé Roberto’s team. But when she moved to Turkey’s Vakifbank in 2019, she felt the need to go further. Among the best players in the world, she wanted to overcome her limitations so as not to be left behind.

Gabi talks about debut in the Brazilian team in 2012

Gabi is 1.80m. Her height puts her at a disadvantage compared to other players. Paola Egonu, Italian who disputes the spotlight with the Brazilian, for example, is 1.93m. Even so, when it appeared, the Brazilian stood out for the volume of play. By training her pass to exhaustion, she approached perfection. In a team that stands out because of its defensive system, Gabi has become indispensable.

2 of 7 Gabi’s data and history — Photo: Infografia

Gabi’s data and history — Photo: Infografia

The move to Turkey, however, made Gabi seek more. To face the rivals, he also needed to reach a level beyond. At Vakifbank, under the tutelage of coach Giovanni Guidetti, Gabi changed habits and routines.

– There was a big change from one period to another. I joke and say that there was “Gabriela’s awakening”. This awareness, which I always had, of course, that, being a low player, I always had to do something more to be able to perform at the height of the great players and reach my goals. But I think it got to a point where just being the passer, playing the back of the court, wasn’t enough for me. I needed to break that barrier.

3 of 7 Gabi in action for the Brazilian team — Photo: Disclosure/FIVB

Gabi in action for the Brazilian team — Photo: Disclosure / FIVB

Gabi also started to look to the side. A tennis fan, he sought to understand how phenomena from other sports worked. In football, he tried to learn from the habits of Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo. In swimming, he went after the Michael Phelps routine.

4 of 7 Gabi’s numbers on the block — Photo: Infografia

Gabi’s numbers on the block — Photo: Infografia

– I went into a process of wanting to maximize my performance, understanding the little things that could help me physically, mainly. So that I could endure these long training, national team and club beats. Almost not leaving the court and realizing it. So I started researching great references. Cristiano Ronaldo, Michael Phelps. I started reading books, interviews, research. I looked for what these great athletes do to be able to stay at a high level all the time.

I really like Cristiano Ronaldo. I saw an interview of him right after leaving a workout. He’s sitting, basking in the sun, and they ask what he’s doing. ‘I’m taking my vitamin D, 20 minutes a day.’ He jokes: ‘I’m my nutritionist, I’m my own doctor, I know that sunbathing is good for you. The food I need to have, what I need to do’. Of course, he has professional accompaniment. But beyond all that, it’s you understanding what works in your body. There came a time when I understood.

— Gabi, team pointer

The change was profound. Gabi changed her entire diet so she could speed up her metabolism and muscle recovery process. She underwent a series of tests to better understand her body’s reactions. All well defined, even if she doesn’t always get it.

– Sometimes it’s hard to take off. But I joke that everything that comes in the package, I try not to consume as much as I can.

Gabi’s Diet Changes:

  • No white sugar;
  • No white flour;
  • Decreased white grains;
  • No dairy products;
  • Decreased red meat.

– Because I was thin, I had the perception that it was okay if I ate when I felt like it. This change in my diet, from eating more fruits, reducing animal products and white flour, mainly, helped me a lot in the inflammatory process. The muscle pains subsided, my recovery process accelerated. Sure, I have pain, but it’s very manageable. And with that, I can perform better in training and in the game,” she said.

5 of 7 Gabi’s attack numbers — Photo: Infografia

Gabi’s attack numbers — Photo: Infografia

The changes were also inspired by another phenomenon in the sport. Upon reading Novak Djokovic’s book, Gabi realized that he needed to change his entire process.

– And I remember Djokovic’s book, when he talks about how his performance improved after he changed his diet. He talks a lot about gluten, which he’s cut out. It was a book that helped me a lot. It was a lot in this vein, understanding what great athletes do and looking for me.

6 of 7 Gabi’s withdrawal numbers — Photo: Infografia

Gabi’s withdrawal numbers — Photo: Infografia

The changes were not restricted to diet. Gabi also looked for a way to better control her sleep. He wanted a way to analyze all available indicators. The solution was a ring. The accessory monitors all activity during rest, such as body recovery, temperature, heart rate and others.

Gabi took inspiration from names in the NBA and Hollywood. Personalities who tried to increase the level of performance and concentration through greater control of sleep hours.

Disclosure Image / FIVB
Gabi in her early days in the national team and today, captain — Photo 1: Publicity — Photo 2: Publicity/FIVB

– I started researching about sleep. Not only for high income, but for quality of life. I bought a ring, many athletes wear it. Actors and actresses. You can monitor every step of your sleep, body temperature, breathing. How long have you slept, if you have good recovery sleep, good deep sleep. How does it affect the body.

Countdown to the Women's Volleyball World Cup - Gabi

Countdown to the Women’s Volleyball World Cup – Gabi

best season of career

Gabi arrives at the Worlds in her best moment in her career. Silver and one of Brazil’s highlights at the Tokyo Olympics, he had a perfect year at Vakifbank. The pinnacle was winning the Champions League, when she was also named the competition’s MVP. But it wasn’t just. Gabi added other achievements in the season. The pointer won the Turkish Supercup, Turkish Cup, Club World Cup and Turkish Championship. In the final of the national championship, against Fenerbahçe, the Brazilian pointer was also elected the best in the position.

– I know that, today, people naturally look to me as a reference. Not only within the team, but outside as well. A great expectation is created, even for the incredible seasons that I managed to do in Turkey in these years – said the tip.

7 of 7 Gabi in winning the Champions League — Photo: Disclosure / CEV

Gabi in winning the Champions League — Photo: Disclosure / CEV

In addition to diet and sleep control, Gabi started meditating and doing yoga. He also started to watch more games, male and female. She sought references in all areas. Everything to reach his peak and stay there in the fight for titles in all the competitions he disputes.

– Everyone always saw me as the player who fixed the ball. That’s what I’ve always tried to look for. Don’t make mistakes and don’t complain about the ball. And have more attack efficiency. I also started watching more games, men’s and women’s, having other attack references. More ideas I could bring to my game. There are many things in small habits. And that makes the big difference.

Brazil counts on Gabi to seek unprecedented title in the Volleyball World Cup

Brazil counts on Gabi to seek unprecedented title in the Volleyball World Cup

– That something else I was missing was that I needed to be at my best all the time. I felt that if I was on par with a player who was taller than I was, it wasn’t enough. I had to be better than her. To be in her shoes and make sense. And then the thing expands. You start to realize that you can be the best player in your position. Not that it’s the goal. Not just thinking about the collective, but also about individual performance. It helped me expand my goals.

Gabi, however, goes further. By discovering the best path for himself, he also tries to inspire those who come after him. By leading a team in the process of renewal, the tip hopes to be able to help those who are just starting out.

– Girls ask me a lot, and I think it’s really cool too. The idea just spreads. If many of them understand this process and how much it can benefit their career. I think that, if at 20, 21, 22, I had the consciousness that I have today, the difference is very big. If they have this new awakening, they will be able to achieve even bigger goals and more easily.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Gabis leap tip changed diet sleep top volleyball

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