Preparation is key to success for any athlete before a big game, and it’s necessary to keep in mind a few helpful hints that could increase focus and swiftness. Many soccer players take game-day prep very seriously to ensure they will be able to successfully withstand the full 90 minute game. Without the right regimen, it’s easier to become distracted, anxious, and lethargic. We’ve put together some essential game day tips for you to try before your next big game.
- Hydrate yourself with water
Staying hydrated is important before, after, and during a game. Sports drinks and juices contain electrolytes that help replenish and restore cells, but may also contain other additives such as large doses of sodium, which end up doing more harm than good. It’s best to hydrate properly the day before, with natural or electrolyte water, drinking a solid 8 ounces. During the game, it’s best to hydrate with small and frequent sips, while after the game, you can intake larger amounts of water at once.
Getting a full night’s rest is essential for optimal performance, and this doesn’t just start and end on game days. It’s important to build up a solid routine and stay on a sleep schedule of about 8 hours per night. Before a game, banking up on extra sleep of even 10-11 hours per night has been proven to improve athlete performance.
- Pay Attention to Diet
Incorporating a routine and balanced diet is key. ut the night before a game, it’s best to load up on a carbohydrate-rich meal, which will boost energy and stamina levels the following day. It’s best to eat breakfast within the first hour of waking up, and having a high-carbohydrate, moderate-protein and low-fat and fiber meal 3 to 4 hours before the game. Eating properly prevents hypoglycemia, light-headedness, fatigue, and inability to make technical decisions. Overall, the proper diet provides a player with more energy to last the whole game without tiring.
- Remember to Have Fun
Don’t doubt your skills and abilities, because mental distractions will hold you back from performing your best. Going into a game with an open mind and the belief that you will do well is known for improving performance. Confidence is key to success!
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