Sometimes, you just can’t be bothered to play.
It’s not a lack of passion for college soccer, you’ve proven your passion during training, in the gym and in previous games. But this time, you turn up and start warming up and you just aren’t feeling fired up to play.
It happens to the best of players – even soccer-playing geniuses have off-days when they aren’t feeling 100%.
Yet, they continue to dominate.
Even though they may turn up and not feel their best, they continue to put in incredible performances and improve themselves day after day, game after game and week after week.
So, why are you not feeling like the world-beater you normally do? It’s simple.
You haven’t given your body or mind the boost of energy they desperately crave before a game of soccer. The pressures of gameday can wreak havoc on your physical and mental state and if they aren’t dealt with effectively, they can have a detrimental impact on your performance.
The problem is, it can be tough to keep up with the huge amount of information out there on preparation before physical endeavours and in particular, soccer. But, how are you supposed to cut through the noise and find some quick and effective methods to boost your energy and ensure optimal performance?
We have some suggestions for you, and all of them take practically no effort yet they can yield significant results.
Acute caffeine ingestion has been shown to improve intermittent exercise performance as well as stimulate the nervous system and decrease rates of perceived tiredness. So, why not have a caffeine sports drink or carbohydrate gel before or even during the game?
Just be aware of the brand you buy, it should be batched tested (you can check that with our friends at Informed Sport). Also, always check the packaging nutrition information, as you should not exceed 600 mg of caffeine per day (from supplements and other food & drink).
“But if I warm-up too hard I’ll be tired at kick off, right?!”
High-intensity efforts during warm-up will stimulate the liver to produce glucose to reduce premature fatigue during the game. So, make sure that you put in 110% during warm up to ensure that your energy levels are at an optimal level at the first whistle and last until the final whistle.
Not sure what to do? You can try dynamic stretching, sprints or drills.
Burst power movements such as jumping, shooting and sprinting that last up to 10 seconds will provide an energy release due to the rapid breakdown of Phosphocreatine.
So, by incorporating plenty of header-based drills, short sprints and shooting activities, you can provide your body with the energy boost it needs.
Bonus tip: Topping up your intra-cellular stores by eating high-quality meat & fish (e.g. wild game, fresh fish, free-range meats) the day before a game can benefit your explosive power.
This is a strange one, but there’s a reason why you see so many players take a drink and then spit it out.
Mouth rinsing can stimulate your brain, increasing well-being sensations and self-chosen work output. Meaning that you may feel a mental energy boost just from taking a drink (preferably a carbohydrate-based energy drink), rinsing it in your mouth and spitting it out.
Just don’t hit your teammate’s leg.
It’s crucial that you prepare correctly on gameday to ensure that your improving yourself and finding true enjoyment every time you step out onto the field.
But it’s not just gameday when preparation is vital, it’s the days and weeks before that all result up to your optimal performance.
That’s why we created an action plan that will show you how to strategically use carbohydrates in the 24 hours running up to a game to ensure that you’re feeling your best at the first whistle.
You can download the action plan for free by submitting the form below!