If you take your squash seriously, then you need to be focussing your preparation on the full day leading up to your match, not just the hours beforehand. How you eat, how you sleep and how you physically prepare your body all contribute towards having that edge on match day.
Eating the night before
This step is about trying things out and finding what works best for you, as we all have different metabolism rates and responses to food.
However, we recommend you ‘carb up’ the night before a match to get good slow burning energy on board. Don’t worry, your body won’t have time to store this as fat as you have a big energy burning session tomorrow.
Think pasta, rice, couscous, and quinoa – any wholegrain really, and combine this with some lean meat and fresh veg.
We cannot stress the importance of sleep enough, in face we are preparing a full article dedicated to this topic. The benefits of a good night’s sleep are huge, and on the flip side, a bad night sleep will really affect your performance the next day. You should be getting minimum 7 hours sleep to perform at your best. But that doesn’t mean stay up late and have a lie in – it means a reasonable time getting to bed and a good start to your day. This all helps with your frame of mind being positive.
You had all your carbs and slow burning energy last night, so this morning it’s helpful to have a light and nutritious breakfast. Scrambled egg on toast, sugar free cereal or fruit are all good options here – providing nutrition and energy without leaving you feeling bloated and lethargic.
Stretches either before or soon after breakfast are important for waking up your body, stretching your muscles and warming up your joints ready for actions. This isn’t so much about trying to avoid injury, though it can’t do any harm. The benefit of this is improved performance, getting your body ready and your mind focussed. We do recommend yoga if that is your sort of thing. If it isn’t your thing, why not give it a try? We guarantee your physical fitness will improve on match day!
Last but not least, make sure you keep well hydrated. You should be drinking a minimum of 2-3 litres of water per day as a standard, so bearing in mind you will lose a lot of fluids during the match you need to be increasing this on match days. Being hydrated keeps your mind focussed, avoids headaches, reduced chances of cramp, and keeps your body running smoothly. Such an easy step to add to your preparation routine but such an effective one, and such an damaging one if neglected.
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