As with most things in life, preparation is the key to success. Preparation for a sub-elite level of sport can make a massive difference to the output of an individual’s game/season. Preparation for a season obviously starts in preseason, however today we are going to focus on the 48 hour period between our last training session for the week and game day. The 3 areas of preparation we need to address are Nutrition, psychology, and physiology.
Day before game:
-Hydration 3-4 Litres of water. Nutrition the day before the match is more important than match day nutrition. A magnesium supplement can be added to a portion of water. This will help decrease cramping and improve sleep.
-A light jog or walk during the day to get the blood flowing to the muscles in the legs, this can be followed by a magnesium bath or pool session to freshen the legs up.
-Foam rolling and static/passive stretching any sore/tight areas
-High carbohydrate dinner. Pasta with garlic bread or brown rice and chicken.
-No/minimal alcohol the night before
-7-8hrs of restorative sleep. Mental fatigue is a big issue for players, getting the right amount of sleep allows players to stay alert and switched on for longer periods.
-Use hydralyte not gatorade before a game, gatorade contains a high level of sugar which will cause an initial but unsustained burst of fuel. Hydralyte is much more effective at topping up electrolyte stores.
-Depending on what time your game is, work out the food that works best for you and the best time to eat it. It is important to keep this as consistent as possible as our digestive system will become more settled. Avoid any acidic foods as these may have an effect on the upper digestive tract.
-Visualization is a great way to mentally prepare the mind for what is to come. This can be done both on game day and the day before.
The biggest take home message is keeping what works for your routine. Adding too many variables to pre-game preparation is unsettling to the body and mind, so find what works for you and keep it consistent.
Routine = Consistency
Consistency = Results