"My Daily Routine," a new buffalobills.com series presented by Supercuts, gives fans a glimpse of the Bills. Highlighting the intricacies that differentiate professional athletes from other individuals, as well as the commonalities that we all share, "My Daily Routine" goes beyond the football field.
I really value my routines. The way I look at it, I break it down into three different things: the mental, the physical and the technical. I try to make sure that I’m working on those three parts throughout the week. Bills kicker Stephen Hauschka
If there's one word that describes veteran specialist Stephen Hauschka, it's "intentional." Everything he does, he does with a purpose and this is evident in the established daily and weekly routines that Hauschka utilizes. A process that he's worked on tirelessly throughout his time in the league to develop, his routines – which occur five-six times per week – are part of his identity. To shed light on this, Hauschka detailed what a typical day looks like for him and how each routine helps prepare him for game day.
In the morning
I wake up at 7:30 a.m.
Do you snooze your alarm?
No, [I don't snooze my alarm] – not with this new schedule. We start about a half an hour to an hour later than in the past, so I've been able to get good sleep. It's been really nice.
What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
I have electrolytes and water in the morning to hydrate and after I go find a quiet place to do mindfulness techniques.
What do mindfulness techniques consist of?
Just breathing, starting my day from a calm space. It depends on the day [on what this looks like for me]. They have a red-light bed here [at the facility], which I use some days in the morning. So, sometimes it's in there. Other times, I use an app called 'Calm.'
At One Bills Drive
Then I drive into work and I listen to classical music on 94.5 on my way.
The most important meal of the day
Then I eat breakfast at the facility [around 8:15 a.m.].
What type of food do you eat for breakfast?
Usually [I eat] a type of protein like eggs, bacon – sometimes I'll have a chicken breast. It sounds weird in the morning, but it works. It's not that appetizing though. [I also have] berries, oatmeal and nut butter.
Pause for Pilates
Sometimes after breakfast, I'll go use the red-light bed here. I spend about 10 minutes in there. Then we have meetings [and] after I go and do a Pilates session.
Why do you do Pilates?
It builds a lot of strength through length and opens up flexibility throughout my body. That's a year-round thing for me. [I do it] about three times per week [and have been doing it for about seven years].
Then we do a walk-thru with the team… [I do an] upper body lift on Wednesdays [too]. It's a different workout every time, but it's a pretty traditional strength training workout. It's partially what they do [the trainers] and a few exercises that help me with kicking.
I'll usually eat a snack before practice, which varies. That's something I need to improve on right now. It hasn't been enough to hold me through.
More on his meals
I try and eat as much food from quality ingredients as I can. I like to eat good proteins like grass-fed beef. If I can find game meats like buffalo or something like that, those are good [too]. I will also eat organ meats sometimes like liver. There's a lot of good B-vitamins in liver.
I like to eat healthy fats like avocados, oils, nuts, olive oils…that kind of stuff – lots of good proteins and then I like to just go to the farmers market, even the one here in Orchard Park, and buy fresh foods. I feel inspired by that. It takes you on a tangent because you never know what's going to be there, but I love it.
[I've been eating this way for] probably about five to seven years. I grew up gardening. My dad gardened and so I just love things that come out natural and fresh.
I'll take supplements too. I'll just take standard ones like…amino acids, glutamine and creatine.
When I get home for the day, I spend time with my family. I play with my two-year-old son Jones and my dogs, Jack and Bee. Each night before bed, I read Jones stories. After dinner, I like to watch 'The Office' and other TV shows with my wife, Lindsey.
Do you cook dinner?
I like cooking myself. I don't have time to do it, [but] in the offseason I cook a lot.
What do you like to cook?
I just keep learning and growing with my cooking. [I cook] mainly things that fit into my diet, but I've learned to make slow roasted lamb and pulled pork – food like that. I like to barbecue with the other specialists too.
What do you do to get ready for bed?
I shower at the facility after practice. I wear blue light blocking glasses. I put those on around 9 o'clock to watch TV or anything like that. Wearing them makes you kind of tired, so that's nice. Then watching TV doesn't really affect your sleep.
All about the Zs
Sleep is important to me. I try to get to bed by 10:30 p.m.
Do you sleep with the TV on? Do you listen to music?
No. I'm a good sleeper. You just have to be smart about it. No caffeine before bed. I mean there are nights when I don't sleep well, but it's usually because I wasn't doing the right thing – watching TV late or being busy late at night…[or] trying to do something that I should've done earlier in the day. I like to read a little bit before bed too.
What types of books do you read?
I always like to learn but…it depends on the night and the time of year but they're [always] relaxing books for me.
Gearing up for game day
Writing it down
Sometimes things come to me and I need to work on it. I work on my kicking technique throughout the week and like I said, I break it down into three phases: the mental, the physical and the technical. I do something for each one of those, pretty much every day.
The power of visualization
For visualization, I like to start the day before the game – just visualizing being in the stadium and feeling comfortable and confident. I visualize making kicks and then I do that the night before the game and the morning of the game too. I go through how I want to feel out there and then visualize success. So, by time I get to the game day, I've already seen myself make a bunch of kicks.
The routines and the daily work can be monotonous and can be boring and I think that's why a lot of people don't do it. But as a professional athlete, the discipline to do those things on a daily and a weekly basis is what separates the players from each other.
For me, this game exposes me to so many different areas and it's so challenging and it requires so much of you, that you're really pushing the boundaries of what is possible. You learn a lot about yourself in doing that and you grow a ton from it. So, that's what I love about it.