After a particularly taxing workout or competition, the human body needs a minimum of forty-eight hours to return to its normal state of functioning. Naturally, something like that is not even somewhat feasible for athletes that compete professionally. On the other hand, if you want your players to come into game day pumped up and ready to go, you’ll need to provide them with some downtime the day before the game so that they can recuperate.
Plan the next week’s exercises
In a perfect world, there would be a day of relaxation between every match. Therefore, ease into the first few days of the training week, to reach your most strenuous point somewhere in the middle of the week.
The day before a game, you should do some mild stretching and training to be ready for the game. Sessions dedicated to cooling down assist the bodies of your athletes to recuperate. We can only hope that most of the strength training and cardiovascular work for the week will have been completed by now.
It is important to focus on strategy and skill throughout the day before a match. There is nothing a player can do in the hours leading up to a contest that will make them fitter or more prepared. On the other hand, if you push them too hard, you run the risk of them being exhausted and suffering from aches and pains in their muscles.
Exercises and Workouts
Recovery, stretching, and some mild cardio should be the primary emphasis of your workout the day before a significant competition. Each coach has their method for dealing with this, however, some possible exercises are as follows:
- Games with limited playing space that do not include physical interaction
- Foot volleyball
- Gentle running
- Spending time with the physios
- Basic meditation
- Throwing drills
- Practice with firearms
- Strategic drills
The goal is to do the least amount of strength training and cardiovascular activities possible. On the day before a game, many coaches limit their players’ activities to strategic and motivational work, although this decision ultimately relies on how well their players have trained over the week.
A pre-match day practice session should leave players feeling reinvigorated and inspired to do their best.
Make sure that the players get healthy meals
Consuming sweets and meals high in fat the day before a significant competition is not the best use of your time. The fuel that your players need to perform effectively the next day comes from lean meat, fresh veggies, and high-quality carbs like whole grains.
Even if you have no control over what your players consume in their own homes, you should have a group conversation with them about the standards you have set. Provide them with some direction on what they should consume the night before a game and the morning of the game.
Deliver an inspiring speech to the team
The day preceding a match is not the time to go over the mistakes that were made in the previous games; rather, this should be done immediately after the conclusion of each game.
Collect all of your participants in one place, and brainstorm some ideas for the game tomorrow. Emphasize the positive and weave a narrative that explains how and why you will emerge victorious. This kind of mental preparation is known as positive visualization, and it is a subfield of sports psychology that is used by professional football teams all over the globe.
Advice to the Players as They Continue Their Journey
The challenge that confronts every coach on the globe is the same: how do you keep track of what your players are doing the night before a crucial game? The answer is “very little” unless you are a professional coach who requires your players to stay in a hotel overnight as a condition of playing for you.
Because of this, it is very necessary to have a positive and trustworthy connection with your athletes. It is very important to emphasize the importance of individual accountability during the pre-game practice session. Therefore, after your team session on tactics, establish the ground rules and boundaries for the preceding evening and the day before the match.
- Get to bed early; to perform at their peak the next day, a player must get a minimum of 7 sleep hours the night before.
- Players should drink a lot of water the night before and the morning of a game. Players should sip water continuously the night before and the morning of a game.
- Eat healthily – In the twenty-four hours leading up to the game, players should stay away from meals that include saturated fats, processed sugar, and convenience foods.
- Eat a healthy breakfast – Advise your athletes to consume a breakfast that is low in fat and calories but high in “good” carbs and protein.
- A meal high in carbohydrates should be had four hours before the start of the game, after which players should have empty stomachs.
Therefore, the primary focus of your football practice sessions leading up to the game should be on recuperation and preparedness. When the referee blows his whistle to signal the start of the game, your team’s players should be in peak physical condition and ready to begin as soon as he does so that they can get the game underway.