When it comes to playing your best at a soccer match, proper preparation is key. Whether you are new to the league or a seasoned veteran, making sure you are physically and mentally prepared before a game will ensure you play to the best of your ability. Read on for recommendations to help you prepare for each soccer game.

 

Nutrition

In the days leading up to the big game or tournament, your body needs adequate nutrition. Eating large amounts of junk food will leave you tired and sluggish. A proper diet will ensure your body has the nutrients it needs to stay energized during the game. You should primarily eat proteins and carbs leading up to the game. No matter which league you are on, be it the Portland Timbers or Fort Lauderdale Strikers, you likely have a hectic schedule, making it difficult to find time to cook meals. Meal preparation can be a lifesaver. When you are hungry after a grueling practice, it is tempting to grab the first thing you see and eat it. By preparing meals in advance, you will have a healthy meal ready for you when you get home. Additionally, take vitamins and supplements to make certain nutrients are being replenished. A healthy protein powder will do wonders for your body. The additional protein will support your muscles to help them recover for the game.

 

Pack

Check that your uniform and all your equipment are ready to go a day or two before you leave for the game. The last thing you need is to be scrambling to leave for a big tournament, only to realize you have a nasty stain on your uniform or your cleats are broken. Clean, examine and pack everything a couple of nights before. That way, you can address any issues before you leave.

 

Sleep

Getting adequate sleep on a regular basis will also impact your energy for the game. Avoid your phone, TV and computers for about two hours before you go to bed. The light from the screen stimulates your brain, making it harder to fall asleep. Avoid caffeine for a few hours before bedtime as well. If you must have that soda with dinner or coffee with dessert, switch to caffeine-free. While it is easy to go to bed at different times each night, especially on the weekends, do your best to go to bed at the same time every night. This will ensure you are getting sufficient sleep each night leading up to your game. The more well-rested you are, the more energy and focus you will have for the match. Your bedtime furniture and accessories also need to be in good condition. If you have not bought a new mattress in 12 years, it is time to upgrade to a new one. Similarly, if your pillows and blankets are old and worn out, chances are the poor quality is impacting your sleep more than you realize. Your pillows should be replaced every one to two years or when they become flat or lumpy. Purchase a new mattress every eight to 10 years and a comforter every 10 to 15 years.

 

Errands

Finally, make sure any urgent errands are addressed before you leave for the game. You can be well-rested, properly fed with all the tools to play, but if you have a large bill you forgot to pay or a school-related task you forgot to complete for your kid, these are going to be a mental distraction. About a week before the game, make a list of all the tasks you need to complete prior to leaving. That way, nothing gets missed and you will be completely focused come game time.

 

Soccer games require a lot of energy and focus. Whether it is a regular league game or the FIFA championships, you need to sufficiently prepare in order to give your full attention to the game. Follow the above recommendations to ensure you are ready for your next match.