We’re sure we don’t have to tell you that rugby is a tough sport. To perform at your best, you have to ensure that your body is at its optimum level of fitness. That’s where we step in. Here’s our guide to getting ready for a big match.
All sportspeople know the importance of good nutrition to help them perform at their best, but what exactly is good nutrition? For England full back Josh Lewsey, nutrition starts many days before a big game and is made up of four steps.
Step 1 – Eat More
Increase slow-release carbs such as fruit, brown rice and sweet potatoes for three days prior to your match to up energy levels.
Step 2 – Drills and Training
Completing some simple rugby training drills like those offered at https://www.sportplan.net/drills/rugby will wake up the central nervous system ready for kick-off. Flat-out sprints are a great way of familiarising the body with what is going to be asked of it over the next few days. It also raises the body temperature, which again mimics upcoming exercise.
Step 3 – Added Rest
You’ve hyped your body for three days and are ready for calm before the storm. Relaxing or having an hour’s snooze on match day ensures you’re well rested and energy stores are fully replenished.
Step 4 – Eat Up
Breakfast on match day should be a balanced diet of low GI carbs, good fats such as avocados and eggs for protein. Avoid eating too much, though – otherwise you’ll feel sluggish when the match starts.
Hype Yourself Up Again
Music is said to tame even the most savage of beasts, but what if you want a little savagery in your life? Well, choosing the right type of music can have the opposite effect, hyping up even the most timid of wallflowers. A recent study into music in the exercise domain by scientists Karageorghis and Terry found that when chosen for its motivational qualities, music can have an impact on a person’s psychological state and magnify their performance.
With this said, we recommend that you create a playlist of your favourite tunes that hype you up – it doesn’t matter if it’s Napalm Death or the Spice Girls – and play it in the dressing room to reap the benefits.