As you already know practice is vital to getting your game to the next level. You will practice and train far more than you will ever play in actual games. Coaches look for players they know will give 100% every practice. With that being so, it is extremely important to implement a routine to get you properly ready for practice.
Here are our top 5 things to do before practice to get the most out of every training session.
1. Rest and clear your mind.
Assuming you are not training immediately after school you have time kill before practice. As soon as you get home to form a habit to find a quiet place where you will not be distracted. Next, set your phone to “do not disturb” and set a timer for 20 minutes. Take this time to chill and let your brain rest. You’ll find in just 20 minutes you will feel energized and will be thinking more clearly.
There’s an assisted meditation app called “Head Space” you can download to your phone which we recommend you use to help you clear your mind more effectively. (We speak more deeply about this when referencing Soccer Mentality in our book - The Perfect Soccer Player Blueprint)
2. Have a healthy snack and drink plenty of water.
As we have mentioned in previous articles, nutrition is extremely important for any high-level athlete. After a long day at school, your body needs to be refueled. However, you also don’t want to overeat before practice. Eating some lean protein, grains, and fruit will do the trick. You should also be drinking enough water throughout the day, but especially before practice. Try to drink at least 12-24 ounces from the time you get home until you leave for practice. Your body will thank you later.
3. Start on your homework
We all know that sometimes it’s hard to open the books right after you get home from school, but forming smart habits now will help you when you’re playing in college. You will not play soccer forever, so your education must be one of your highest priorities. The more school work you finish before practice, the better you will feel during practice knowing you don’t have much more to do once you get home.
Sounds simple, and it is simple. Make sure you have all your gear in your bag and ready to go. Practice uniform, water bottled filled, ball pumped up, cleats in your bag ready to be changed into, and any type of snack you want before and after practice. Don’t be the kid running late because he couldn’t find his cleats…. coaches will not tolerate that.
5. Do a pre-warm up at home.
Getting your body warmed up properly and thoroughly is extremely important and will help prevent injuries. Take some time before you drive to practice to get some blood flowing. You can get a jump rope, run in place, jumping jacks, just get the heart rate up. Next, remember to Stretch, Stretch, Stretch.! I cannot emphasize the importance of 10- 15 minutes of simple hamstring, calf, groin, and back stretches enough. Incorporating a foam roller and resistance bands are also extremely helpful.
We know that if you follow this simple routine you will notice a difference in your ability to train at a higher level for longer, and everyone else will see the difference in your game.
Also, continue on to read about the top 5 things to do after practice CLICK HERE.
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