The Best Way Prepare For A Soccer Match
How you prepare for your next soccer match can be crucial to your performance. This article is guided towards top level players and not youth players. Here is our recommended game day routine:
A Good Night's Rest
Athletes sometimes overlook a night of good sleep, but a lack of sleep can severely limit your ability and reduce your next-day performance. Studies by sleep specialist Cheri Mah of the Human Performance Center at Stanford University suggest that athletes who get an extra amount of sleep would be more likely to have better performance, mood, and alertness, especially on game day.
Soccer players must have the ability to scan the field of play, process information quickly, and make the right decisions. Getting the maximum from these essential attributes for top players must consider their sleep cycle.
We recommend 9-11 hrs of sleep before every match.
Tips to get a good night's rest:
- Measure your sleep
- Prioritize your sleep on your training schedule
- Avoid eating a meal at least three hours before bedtime especially carbs after 7pm
- Take a 30 min nap during the day but no longer
- Workouts must be done at least 4 or more hours before bedtime
- Make your sleep consistent
- Sleep in complete darkness
Athletes today may not be highly focused on their game day food intake, but honestly, getting anything in your stomach is better than nothing at all. The primary nutrient you should make a priority is carbohydrates. Soccer players run as much at 9 miles per game, and the muscles in our body are primarily by carbohydrates that benefits our endurance during a match.
These are no specific meals that I suggest, but I always tell players to eat whatever they like; make sure it has a sufficient amount of carbohydrates.
Foods that I recommend to make part of your routine; which are my personal favorites are:
- Brown Rice
- Sweet Potatoes
Physical & Mental Preparation
If you suffer from tight or achy muscles using massages to release pressure and prepare your muscle is vital to enhance performance to reduce the risk of injury. Most pro players have muscle preparation programs they use to prepare for training and games. The most popular is foam rolling and balancing exercises.
On game day, it's common for athletes to consume caffeine supplements to boost their performance. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system to lower fatigue and drowsiness. Research has also shown that caffeine can improve endurance and increase muscular strength. I recommend some of these products I use in our Amazon shop below.
Give yourself time to relax and get focus on the game. I have seen many players take different approaches. Some players wander off listening to their favorite music while others are joking around in the dressing room. Players should do whatever it takes to kill their nerves.
With this in mind, athletes should also find different methods in their routine. The recommendation made in this article is simply a guide to make or improve your game-day routine.
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