Whatever the sport and whether it is the kids or the old crocks playing, having your team prepared does not just mean running them through practice drills for the 100th time. To play at its best, the team’s minds, bodies and souls need to be relaxed and focused on the match to come.
Here is a look at some simple preparations that can make all the difference in leading your team to success.
A large part of your team’s performance depends on what is going on between the players’ ears, so overlook the importance of morale at your peril. The team that believes in itself and has faith in its members stands at an enormous advantage and has a far better chance of success.
Negative thoughts and doubts can eat away at confidence, so tackle these head on and get them aired and dismissed, or they can erode team morale from the inside.
A great way to get everyone focused on the forthcoming match is to use visualisation techniques to mentally assess how the match will go and what challenges will be faced. After all, if it works for Andy Murray and Jonny Wilkinson, then it can work for your team members too.
Dressing room atmosphere
Having achieved a positive psychological atmosphere in the dressing room, it is easy to ruin it all with a physical atmosphere that drags the players back down again. Changing rooms can become hot and humid, particularly if team members are in and out of the showers or there are sauna / wet room facilities nearby. Not only is this sub-optimal from a player performance perspective, it also provides a hotbed for germs, bacteria and mould growth.
Leaving windows open to reduce humidity is not the ideal solution, especially in colder weather, so it is seriously worth installing an Andrews dehumidifier to ensure that you have the perfect ambient conditions.
Seeing to it that your team members are fuelled up and ready for the big match is essential. This is an aspect that needs to be built up over time – the night before is not the time to try experimenting with new diets.
Eating regimens will differ among individuals, but there are some basic themes that apply to everyone, such as taking on plenty of carbohydrates, limiting fatty, high-protein food, drinking extra water and allowing sufficient digestion time between eating and the big event.
It is tempting to grab a sugary snack such as a chocolate bar immediately before the match, but this is not the best idea, as it can lead to a sugar crash at the worst possible moment. So, leave it until afterwards.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember is not to overdo it. Give your team members some downtime so that they are calm and relaxed and have time to enjoy the game. Only then will you truly get the best out of the team.
Good luck in the big match!