Match prep like the Bills

While casual football games in your friend’s backyard are mostly fun and rather spontaneous, competitive football matches are an entirely different ball game. As Marv Levy said: “There will be many failures sprinkled among the successes you enjoy.” However, you can increase your likelihood of a victory right at home well in advance, by strictly following a well-established routine that most professional Buffalo Bills players are likely to follow which is no doubt also followed by other sports professionals.

Due to the strong physical aspect of the game, it typically requires more preparation than most team sports out there. Preparing for the game usually starts several days before you step out onto the gridiron. Let’s take a look at the successive stages of match prep necessary to become a fierce competitor on game day some of which are also covered by the Betway illustration below.

The week before

Getting your head in the game

Start preparing mentally for next week’s match by eliminating emotional distractions, visualizing your success on the pitch, strengthening your mental toughness, and keeping a positive attitude. It is crucial to focus your mind on only one goal at a time. Accept and embrace the pressure as the stakes rise. Even professional athletes feel pressure, and it’s perfectly natural and necessary.

Communicate with your Coach

Each football game is a unique battle; after all, that’s part of what attracts millions of New Yorkers to the sport. Your coaches will have specific strategies and goals lined up for the upcoming game. Pros, like the Bills, spend one to two days a week examining their next match-up and visualizing the execution of the proposed strategy.

Practice hard but safely

Really dig into drills and remind yourself that each component of training is meant to prepare you for real situations. Learn to push yourself to improve and learn, not just to stay in physical shape. Establish strong on-field relationships and bonds with your teammates to improve communication and teamwork for when it counts on gameday.

The night before

Dinner

Eat a healthy meal, well-balanced a few hours before going to sleep. Make sure the ratio of your macronutrients (carbs, fats, and proteins) is in line with your lifestyle and habits. Your coach may recommend you load up on carbs the night before, in order to increase your energy the coming day. Research about carb-loading is not conclusive and partially contradictive, ultimately it is best to find out what works for you through trial and error prior to match prep.

Have equipment all-set

Make sure all your gear is ready for the game tomorrow. Also, check the weather forecast to see which additional layers of clothing you may need. Have everything packed up so you can check one more thing off your match prep bucket list and carelessly get to sleep.

Get good sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep before any strenuous activity is crucial, and one of the most important elements of preparation for any competitive sport. Also, don’t forget to set your alarm, as your coaches and teammates rely on you to show up prepared.

The morning on match day

Eat the right breakfast

If your game is still several hours away, you should consider eating a well-balanced breakfast. Be sure to avoid sugary foods, though, as they may trigger an “energy” crash a few hours later.

Have water bottles and snacks ready

Maintaining an active metabolism by eating small snacks if you get hungry right before the game is highly suggested. While consuming sugary foods right before the match is traditionally not recommended, more recent research suggests consuming small amounts of simple sugars, such as sports drinks or bars during a match, can help sustain energy and performance.