A few hours before the All Whites played Ireland last Friday, midfielder Joe Bell was sat in his hotel room hunched intensely over his laptop.
But, unlike many 20-year-olds, he wasn't playing Fortnite, or on Instagram. Instead, he was watching endless clips of his play and some of his footballing heroes.
Bell, who was highly impressive on debut against Ireland, is a devotee of the power of visualisation and mental rehearsal, and it seems to pay off.
He has been collecting clips of his favourite players for years, and then compares them with his own footage.
The daily analysis, and visualisation exercises, help him prepare for battle and improve his game.
"I'm a big believer in it," Bell tells the Herald . "I spend a lot of time cutting up clips of my favourite players, and comparing them to my clips doing a similar move. I don't know how many times I've watched these videos over and over, but as a psychology major, it is a little trick."
Bell edits the footage himself, finding game situations for defensive midfielders that match what he might encounter, then watches them on repeat "like 100 times".
But it goes deeper than that; Bell also tries to imagine the picture the particular player faced at that time, and what was around them.
"I watch them do it, visualise what they would have seen, then I watch myself do it," said Bell. "It took me a while to implement their moves into a game, but now when I watch myself back, I can think back to the exact moment of how I have done it, the situation, where I have done."
Bell's main focus used to be Spanish midfielder Sergio Busquets; now it is fellow Barcelona player Frankie De Jong.
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"He's the best midfielder in the world and someone who I idolise in terms of that," said Bell. "If I ever play against him, it will be slightly weird as I've got thousands of five-second videos of him playing. But it's important for me and I find that it works. For some people, it might be different, but I think visualisation is a big one."
Whatever is happening in Bell's neural pathways, it is helping. He was outstanding at the Under-20 World Cup in Poland, and stepped up well against Ireland.
Along with Ryan Thomas, he was probably the best on field for the All Whites, controlled and intelligent in possession and effective and efficient without it. He was invariably where he should have been and Irish coach Mick McCarthy picked out Bell for special praise after the match.
It's only one game but it's an impressive start. In the modern game, the holding midfielder is arguably the most important position. Many have been tried in the role for the All Whites in the past decade, but Bell seems a compelling option.
He brings a rare presence, and right from the first training session on this tour, looked comfortable and at ease, even if he was star-struck.
"It can be slightly overwhelming," said Bell. "There was a moment last week when I was reflecting on training. I've been watching Winston Reid on TV since I was a kid and then I was asking for the ball from him.
"It's a weird dynamic, asking your idol for the ball ... that might take a bit of getting used to."
Bell has one more year of his psychology studies at the University of Virginia and enjoys the academic life, but it seems only a matter of time before he turns professional.
He turned down an offer from a Norwegian club in March, and no doubt the Phoenix would be interested in bringing back their academy graduate.
"I want to go pro, but I don't know when or where that will be," said Bell. "It's something I will reflect on in December, whether it is the right time to move on or not."