Preparation sets great soccer players apart from good ones. The habits you have before games can create a positive or negative impact on your overall performance, but it’s up to you to make those methods a part of your routine. Here are a few things you can do during the build-up to the big game to prepare like the pros.
The meals and snacks you eat before a game play a big role in your energy levels on the field. The night before, try to eat a dinner with plenty of protein and carbs, like chicken and pasta. Same goes for breakfast the next morning - eggs and vegetables (like spinach or peppers) are great fuel. About an hour prior to kickoff, it can help to eat or drink something packed with protein or energy to get yourself going.
This seems obvious, but many people stay up late the night before games. Your body needs between 8-10 hours of sleep to function at its highest level, so make sure you’re getting to bed on time. Doing so will make a big difference in your energy and performance levels.
You should be stretching both before and after games, not only to maximize your speed, agility, and range of motion but to protect yourself from injury. Spend at least 10 to 15 minutes stretching in the hour leading up to kickoff, and you’ll be able to feel the difference both on the field and in how fast your body recovers after the game.
Top professionals take time to prepare themselves mentally, and not just before big games. If you go through the same mental routine before every match, it will help you maintain consistent confidence in your abilities, no matter who you’re up against on the day.