Soccer is a pretty intense sport, and people are trying to prepare as much as possible to be ready to go on game day. What are the best ways to prepare for a soccer game? As long as people follow a few of these tips, they will be just fine in the end.
1. Keep An Organized Schedule Days Before a Match
A great way to ensure that everything stays on schedule is to organize everything before a match. This organization can take place days before a match, as it will free up the mind and allow people to plan things out.
Someone not organized can feel rushed leading up to a match. It can be particularly tough during the day of the game, as there is a scramble to get everything done and ready to go. Organization puts the focus on more important things before game day comes.
2. Stay Disciplined
In everything a person is trying to accomplish, it is crucial to stay disciplined when goals are put together. Straying away from those goals is a great way to struggle with success, and people start to get frustrated with things not coming together.
Do not be afraid to put in the extra work if needed to play catch-up on certain days. Stay away from any distractions, and the disciplined approach will definitely work as it should.
A developing player might have to make a few sacrifices along the way, but it is really not the big of a deal with a greater goal in mind. All players wanting to reach their full potential must sacrifice a few other things.
3. Eat The Right Way
Developing good eating habits throughout the year will be a great way to stay in shape and feel energized during a soccer match. A bunch of junk food will work for some people when they are younger, but they need to start eating the right way eventually so that they are not falling into terrible habits.
Leading up to the match, eating foods with many carbohydrates and ways to energize the body helps out. There are various foods for people to choose from that are healthy, so it can be a personal preference.
Some have delicate stomachs where it is impossible to eat too close to physical activity, so try to plan out meals as much as possible. As long as a person has healthy food that is readily available, they are less likely to settle for something that is not healthy.
Staying hydrated starts days before the actual match. People should aim to drink at least a gallon of water a day to make sure the body never feels like it lacks fluids.
It takes a little bit of time to get in the habit of drinking so much water every day, but it is worth it in the end. Make sure to really pay attention to hydration during the warmer months of the year, as it is very easy to get dehydrated if a person does not watch it.
5. Stay Fueled During Training
During a long soccer match, people will generally lose some of their nutrients as they burn off. It is essential to stay hydrated and even get some fuel during and match, leading to better play overall.
A lot of teams are now having snacks on the sidelines so the people can get something quickly when there is a break in the action. Eating something at halftime is a great opportunity for the body to digest what needs to be done. It does not have to be much, but some food and some water along the way makes a difference.
6. Get Adequate Rest
No one should be trying to stay up late the night before a big match. Yes, there will be some nerves here and there, but getting a proper amount of rest will be one of the best things a person can do for their body. Going into a long match without proper rest can lead to fatigue earlier on. Players need energy for all 90 minutes.
A lot of being properly rested starts with developing habits along the way. If a person is constantly staying up every single night, it is going to be hard to go to bed at a normal hour when it comes to the night before a match. Start to get down to a certain time for lights out and bed time, and it will start to really help.
7. Stretch Before & After
Stretching is just as important in soccer as it is for any other sport out there. Many people might not have the best stretching habits, but they come in handy when trying to keep the body fresh.
Try to build up a little bit of a sweat before stretching before, and focus on getting the body ready to go right away. After is the real key, as the muscles are tired and in need of stretching so that they are ready for the next training session/match.
Stretching is possible just about anywhere, which makes it very convenient. Even if the match is hours away, doing a little bit of stretching can keep the body loose and ready to go.
8. Taper Down Training
If there are a few days before a new soccer match, many people will go hard early on and then start to taper down. It makes a lot of sense, because a person wants to have their legs underneath them when they are actually playing in the match.
Training hard with a few days to recover means that a person can start to push themselves for the long term, while still being perfectly fine for the short term. Soccer players look forward to so many days off between matches, because this allows them to work on new training types and not fear being sore.
9. Quality Training Over Quantity Training
Mindlessly training over and over again is going to help with stamina, but it might not help with actual soccer skills. The better way to go is to focus on quality training over quality training every single time.
This means being very specific with drills and not wasting any energy on something that is not going to improve soccer. Goofing around for two hours is not going to be the practice of champions with soccer. Players serious about reaching new levels and being ready to go for a big match can’t waste this time.
10. Learn From Mistakes In The Past
Every soccer player has had a few mistakes that have led to less than stellar results. Instead of dwelling on these mistakes, learn from them and use them for a positive going forward.
Many players are trying to improve as they grow, and the only way to do that is to apply what is actually learned. For example, an approach with a tackle might not work in one match, so a player goes after the ball a different way in the next game. Some small adjustments are needed all the time to ensure that improvements are apparent.
Believe it or not, visualization can really help players trying to take their game to the next level. If a person can truly visualize what is about to happen in a match, they will have even more confidence in what they are doing.
This is a great way to prepare ahead of time to make the right decisions when there is an opportunity. So much of soccer is a cerebral game, and visualization can make some decisions second nature for players.
12. Have Confidence In Preparation
If a person does their preparation just right, they should have complete confidence in going about it the right way. There are so many people out there who sort of doubt what they are doing, but that is not the way to go about it at all.
The more confidence a person has in how they are approaching a soccer match, the better off they will be. Do not be afraid to show a little bit of confidence out there, and people will be very happy with the results.
13. Warm Up With Basic Soccer Drills
When it is actually game day, make sure to do a proper warm-up with some basic soccer drills to be prepared for the match. It is not essential to do a complete warm-up and be soaked in sweat before the match even starts, but some basics are usually the best way to go.
It is more about getting a feel for the ball and going from there. Work on some of the drills that have muscle memory at this point, and the body will be ready to go as soon as the match starts. Here are the warm-up drills I usually do before games.
14. Talk Tactics With Teammates
Tactics are discussed all week leading up to a match, but they are especially important right before the match. This is going over some final preparations and being ready to go out there and dominate how so many teams are hoping for.
It does not have to be much, but some basic overviews on tactics can go a long way. Think about the first opportunities to capitalize, and it could lead to an early goal.