Winning in sports starts from the preparation that happens years, months, and up to the last few hours before the competition. However, it is completely normal for the anxiety to intensify especially on the day before the event. There are mental and physical strategies to help reduce nervousness and enable athletes to perform at their best.
How to Get Ready 24 Hours Before a Sports Game
Here are eight tips to get competitive athletes ready for the battle and beyond:
Visualize yourself winning the game.
Success, whether in sports or in life, all begins with having a goal. Your big goal is to win that game. Imagine yourself accomplishing just that. Picture yourself wearing the highly coveted gold medal, surrounded by your coach, teammates, or loved ones who are celebrating your victory.
To make visualization more powerful, you can draw goal pictures and write affirmations. Look at your images and statements of success just before the game to boost your confidence.
Now is not the time to dwell on what you could or should have done to improve your performance. With just 24 hours or less before the game, the only thing that can help you is staying positive. Mistakes can happen during the game. Remind yourself not to dwell on your errors and instead focus on what you can do to get ahead and improve your chance of winning.
There are only two things you need to focus on the day before a major sporting event: sleep and proper diet. Stay away from anything that might distract you like night parties, family gatherings, TV, or errands that can wait.
Cut back on training.
The day before the competition, reduce the intensity of your physical training. Make sure your body is fully rested before the event.
Athletes who are training for a competition needs to sleep 10 hours daily to recharge and improve their performance. The day before the event, sleep earlier so you won’t have a hard time waking up early for your game. Taking a 20-minute nap a few hours before the competition will also help increase your energy.
Eat a high-carb dinner and breakfast.
You need to eat high-carb meals before the competition because these will help optimize your performance during the game. Carbohydrates supply energy to your body, which enables you to be at your highest level for longer. Glucose from carbs has also been found to help with memory. A few hours before the game, you can refuel with healthy snacks like bananas to keep your carb levels up.
Prepare what you need the day before the competition.
The morning of the competition can be stressful, so to avoid rushing and forgetting important things that you need for the game, organize them the day before the event. You can make a checklist of things that you need to bring with you. Tick the items off once they’re inside your bag. This will help put your mind at ease.
Finally, meditate the night before the competition and an hour before the game. Meditation reduces stress, clears the mind, helps you stay focused and increases your pain tolerance. A simple meditation technique is to pay attention to your breathing. Notice how your body moves as you slowly inhale from your nose and exhale from your mouth.
Sports competitions are important for any athlete. More than just adding a title to one’s list of achievements, these battles motivate athletes to accomplish their goals and persevere to conquer challenges. The 24 hours leading to the event can be intense. In summary, here are the eight things you can do to prepare yourself the day before the game:
- Visualize yourself winning the game.
- Be optimistic.
- Stay focused.
- Cut back on training.
- Sleep early.
- Eat a high-carb dinner and breakfast.
- Prepare what you need the day before the competition.