It is likely nerves will set in a day or two before a big field hockey match. It is, however, important to feel both confident and focused when you enter a game, which will increase your team’s likelihood of success.
If you want to help your teammates roar to victory during an upcoming competitive match, read these top tips on how to prepare for a field hockey game.
Hydrate Your Body
Caring for your body in the run-up to a big match will ensure you are bursting with energy and confidence. It is, therefore, essential to improve your hydration 24 hours before a hockey game, and you also should avoid or limit your intake of sugary or caffeine drinks, as they could cause dehydration and can make you feel lethargic.
If you’re unsure how much you need to drink, this Healthline article recommends people drink eight 8oz glasses of water per day.
Enjoy a Good Night’s Rest
While your mind might be racing about your upcoming performance, you must ensure you enjoy an ample amount of sleep the night before a match. Sleep deprivation cannot only impact your physical performance, but it can also affect your concentration and focus, too. To ensure you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on your opponents, you should ensure you enjoy a good night’s rest by:
- Taking a warm bath or shower
- Avoiding TV or your smartphone an hour before sleep
- Ensuring your room is a comfortable temperature
De-Stress Your Mind
While much pressure might be on you and your team to win a big game, you cannot allow it to dominate every thought you have. Instead, you must look for ways to relax and de-stress, so you will be in the right mindset when you take to the field.
For instance, when you’re not busy training, you should watch a video on YouTube, play a casino game at Unibet, or catch-up with a friend. It will distract your mind from the upcoming match and could lower your stress levels.
Fight Fatigue by Eating Healthily
If you consume takeout and junk food before a hockey game, you can guarantee you’ll have limited energy on the field. To ensure your performance doesn’t let your team down, you must fuel your body with many nutrients, which you can find in:
- Lean proteins (e.g., fish or chicken)
- Fruits and vegetables
- Complex carbohydrates (such as brown rice and whole wheat)
- Healthy fats (e.g., avocado and coconut oil)
By maintaining a healthy diet many weeks before a game, you’ll feel energised when standing alongside your teammates.
Warm Up Your Body
It is likely your coach will have taught you various static and dynamic stretching exercises to perform before a field hockey game. To avoid unwanted cramps or a painful injury once, you must correctly warm up your body to increase your flexibility and strength.
Improve Your Focus
Feel mentally prepared for a major match by attempting to improve your focus. For example, it might help for you to put out your uniform or to create an inspiring playlist that will make you eager to take to the field.
Huff Post has also published an article stating the many benefits of meditation for athletes, such as allowing them to enter a greater state of focus and helping them to overcome their fears.