To play your best on game day, what you do the day before counts, and it starts by eating right. It is important to eat a good dinner, and get a good night’s sleep. The food that will be your fuel on game day is mostly what you ate in the two meals prior to the match. So, what you eat and drink really counts when you play.
If your match is in the morning eat a light breakfast, but if it’s in the afternoon, have a regular breakfast. Get to the field at the time your coach tells you. During the warm-up with your team, you should play the game in your mind. Sports psychologists call playing the game in your head visualization. You see yourself on the field playing skillfully and doing good things during the match like; getting into the right places to help your teammates and giving them encouragement.
Whether you are in the starting lineup or not, it’s important to get a good warm-up both mentally and physically. If you’ll be going into the match from the bench keep visualizing how you will contribute when you go in. Pay attention and see if you can figure out the other team’s strengths and weaknesses. Then when you go in you’ll have your head in the game right away. Be sure to stretch and run a bit to get your heart rate up and be ready to run hard as soon as you step onto the pitch. You’ll be the one with fresh legs, so work hard to support your teammates.
During the match keep visualizing yourself playing skillfully. The more you play that movie in your head the more likely it will happen on the field. Listen to your teammates on the field and tune out the distractions from around the field. Remember to respect the referees; they are just a part of the game environment. Don’t complain about field conditions or the weather, just play your best. Focus on the parts of the match that you have control over.
Finally, don’t be so concerned about the match outcome that you don’t try the things you’ve been practicing. The match is when you need to try what you’ve learned in your training sessions and what you’ve practiced on your own.