So you’ve got a big game against a local rival coming up at the weekend. How should you prepare for this titanic battle?
Training and practice are the most obvious ways to prepare for any match. Tactics boards and tactical discussions, together with practising set-plays, are some central elements of preparation.
There are a number of optimum rugby training drills you can use to prepare for a game.
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Some good habits for the day before the game/game day are outlined below:
Get a Sound Night’s Sleep
Sleep deprivation directly affects athletic performance. Getting a good night’s sleep will mean that you feel better and will be able to focus.
Making sure that you eat sensibly and healthily in the run-up to the game is very important. You need to have the right nutrients, proteins, good fats and carbohydrates inside you. Approximately half an hour before kick-off, have a quick carbohydrate/protein drink or snack.
Your body needs water to function properly, and dehydration can impair performance. In the days before the game, try to drink at least 0.03 litres of water/Kg of body weight. Before and during the match, drink a watered-down energy drink.
Pack Your Bag Early
Pack your kit bag the day before. It helps reduce stress on match day. Make sure to check that you have all of the things you need as you put them into your bag and check again before leaving the house.
Establish a routine that works for you and repeat it every week. It may involve having the same meal before each match, getting your kit ready the night before, doing the same warm-ups or even putting the same shoe on first. Doing this restricts the decisions you need to make and frees up your mind.
Mental preparation and a good warm-up routine are vital for optimising performance and preventing injury. Keeping the muscles warm will prevent acute injuries such as hamstring strains.
A well-structured warm-up will get blood flowing through your body and help activate and stabilise muscles ready for the game.