Preparation is key to winning on game day and the greatest coaches understand how to prepare their players mentally and physically. Every player responds to different strategies but it's the coaches job to find out what's works best. To help set you up for a winning streak, we've put together five ways every sports team can improve their athletic performance on gameday.
Let's dive straight in.
Train Stamina and Endurance
Most sports will require a high level of stamina and endurance for the whole team if they want to be competitive. Gym sessions during the week can help build this up, but sometimes it's more about training your mind than your body. Using pre-match rituals or stretching techniques can help clear your head so you're ready to go when you hit the oval, pitch or court.
Training endurance is essential to be successful on game day and it starts with your training practices. Run longer than usual drills or challenge players to a mix of short sprints and long-distance running during practice.
Always be hydrating
Hydration is essential to athletic performance. Consuming water regularly will help carry nutrients around your body, improve energy levels and brain function, aid digestion, normalise blood pressure and boost your metabolic rate. It's easy to get down and you can experiment with formulated sports water for an electrolyte boost. Staying hydrated is especially important when we exercise intensely or in high heat, as our levels deplete due to sweat.
Always keep a bottle of water handy when you are out so that you have no excuse to forget. And make sure you go to the bathroom before the game start!
Nutrition optimises energy
One of the most important ways to help build endurance for sports teams is to ensure your players are not consuming foods that are unhealthy and lack nutrients. Monitor calorie intakes to understand the bodies energy consumption and focus on a macronutrients – that's carbohydrates, fat and protein. Carbs give us our fuel and thus should make up half of the macronutrients for athletes consumption. Aim to make up the rest with 30% fats and 20% proteins, however, this fluctuates depending on what your end goals are.
Above all, avoid junk food and sugary drinks. Your team needs to be energised, not sluggish from consuming empty calories.
Keep your mind off equipment
Don't let dodgy equipment or uncomfortable clothing distract your players from the game. Not only is there a higher chance of injury, but it could cost you the game by restricting players from reaching peak athletic performance.
Prepare for gameday
Coaches have different approaches for getting their teams into the mental space for game day – some offer motivational speeches while others use stern discipline. Find what works for your athletes and work to build a culture and team spirit that connects players together.
Reach Your Athletic Peak with KPI Sports
KPI Sports is an Australian sportswear manufacturer that has been trusted by teams for over 20 years. Contact our friendly team to learn more about our high-performance sportswear and equipment or browse our online store. We cater to a wide range of sports including football, soccer, netball, basketball and cricket.