This is the time of the season where the big games arrive and you could have the chance to land some silverware. It's important that you and your teammates are fully prepared to face the big occasion, giving yourselves the best shout of clinching glory and making it a great end to the season.
To help get ready for your big game, follow these top tips and get your team on the way to victory!
Getting some shut eye
Having the right amount of sleep can be crucial to your team's success; if you're tired, then you could feel it in your performance on the pitch. Get a good amount of rest and encourage your teammates to do the same, particularly the night before a big game, so you're all ready for action. Aim for about seven to nine hours sleep to help optimise your chance of glory!
Eat food that will help your energy stores during a match, giving you a little bit extra when you may be struggling! Carbohydrates are perfect for this, as they are the main source of energy, helping to improve performance and delay fatigue. Protein is also good for you, as it'll help repair and maintain your body tissue, as well as giving you more energy.
The night before, try eating some protein such as fish or chicken, with some potato or other carbohydrates, to help prepare for the match the following day. On the day itself, try eat some starchy carbohydrates (such as potato or quinoa) around four hours before kick off, before tucking into some fruit 90 minutes before you take to the field. All of these foods will help replenish your energy stores and give you an extra boost of energy!
If you have a pre-match routine, stick to it. It may not be easy to shake off any pre-match nerves, but if you're relaxed before you step onto the field, it'll help you focus during the game and perform to your best. It's important that you and your teammates are focused and ready for the task in hand but also enjoy yourselves! We all love to win games but enjoy the occasion; big matches and finals don't come around often!
Visualise the game
Visualisation is a good technique which can often help you prepare mentally for the match. By focusing on the match and creating a positive mental image, it'll help put your mind at ease and focus on the task in hand. It'll also help you be prepared for the big occasion and deal with the pressure that comes with it, particularly if this is a first for you.
Create a mental picture of the game - with what kit you'll be wearing, where you'll playing and who you'll be against - the night before. You can become proficient in using visualisation by using it in training; before you conduct any skill, take a moment to visualise how you want the action to turn out. By doing this and incorporating visualisation into your game, it'll help you become mentally prepared for your big game.
It's important that you are fully prepared and by following these top tips, you'll get in the best shape, ready for your biggest game this season!