When approaching a sporting event, it can be easy to focus only on thinking about the end goal rather than taking measurable actions leading up to the big day to prepare yourself to perform at your peak. Each athlete develops their own rituals and habits leading up to a sporting event, but there several main tips that have been known to help better prep athletes to perform their best on the day of their sporting event. Below is a guide to five tips that will help prep you for your sporting event and will allow you to compete at your personal best.
The Top Five Preparation Tips for Increasing Performance on Game Day
1. Focus on your nutrition leading up to your event. As many athletes are aware, nutrition plays an integral role in performance and has an even larger effect in the days leading up to a sporting event. In the week prior to a sporting event, it is recommended that athletes prepare their body for the extreme expenditure of energy it will experience through a process called carb loading. When carb loading, an athlete will train during the first few days of the week leading up the event without consuming a significant amount of carbohydrates. By doing this, the stores of Glycogen in the body will be depleted and the athlete’s focus should be on consuming a higher intake of protein. When there are three days left prior to the sporting event, the athlete should begin training less and consume a larger amount of carbohydrates. In taking this step, the glycogen stores will have the optimal amount to give you the energy you need. On the day of the sporting event, it is recommended to eat three hours prior to the event, as this will allow your body to digest your meal properly.
2. Visualization is a useful tactic many athletes utilize to ensure they are mentally prepared to perform their best on the day of their sporting event. It is important to consider what your goals are for the sporting event, how you anticipate you will accomplish these goals, and how you will feel when you do, without overthinking the event. Visualization allows you to think through your sporting event without dwelling on it and overthinking insignificant what-if scenarios, instead focusing this energy on a productive way to process your thoughts. When you are in bed getting ready to go to sleep, think through how you will potentially respond to different scenarios. This will give you a sense of mental preparedness on the day of the event and will prevent nerves from thwarting your performance.
3. Warm-up before the sporting event. Many athletes develop a warm-up routine they implement before every sporting event that allows them to expel excess nerves, get the muscles warm and pliant to avoid injury and to allow yourself time and space to mentally refocus prior to the sporting event. Your warm-up should not be strenuous but should challenge you enough to keep you focused on your actions and warm your muscles up. If you have sustained any type of injury, be sure to focus on the injured area when doing your warm-up to ensure the affected muscle is properly warmed up and to avoid the muscle being reinjured.
4. Drink water consistently for the week leading up to the sporting event. Though recommendations for water consumption vary based on gender, age, and activity level, be sure that your body is properly hydrated leading up to the sporting event. When you are hydrated, your likelihood of sustaining an injury is lessened and your performance is increased. (Pro Tip: Don’t forget to bring your sunscreen!)
5. Getting a consistent, restful night of sleep each night in the week leading up to your sporting event if paramount to your success. In order to function at its best, your body needs time to rest, heal, and reset. Sleep is one of the most crucial aspects of athletic performance. Your body endures stress when training, so it is vital to allow your body time to repair any damage, soothe muscles, and rest for the next day. To maximize your performance, it is important to have a mattress that is unique to your needs and allows you to get the rest you need prior to competing in a sporting event. Essentia understands that athletes possess a unique set of needs and that one mattress will not suit all athletes. To ensure each athlete has a specialized experience, Essentia developed a custom sleep system, called ProCor, that is tailored to an athlete’s individual profile and is made of natural memory foam formulated to match individual muscular tensions, strengths, and weaknesses. Essentia’s ProCor mattress is focused on peak-performance and is specially designed to get you the deep sleep you need to allow your brain to recover, build muscle, and repair tissue.