You've trained hard for weeks. Sweated, bruised, hurt bits of you didn't know you had and now it's finally here... Its bout time. How can you keep your cool and your focus? It's important to develop sucessful routines leading up to a bout. Once you have them in place they will become the process you go through to winning.
- Visualise Success
The mind is a powerful thing and visulising success prepares the mind to create that success in reality. Sitting in my office now, everything I can see was made twice. Once in the minds eye and then in reality. Everything accept for the cactus in the window that is. To create successful outcomes the brain needs to know what it's supposed to be doing. So during the week find some quiet time everyday. (Just before bed works for me.) Sit in a quiet an uninterrupted space and start to visualise strong, colourful images of exactly what you want to happen during the bout. Reinforce those key images everyday so by the time it gets to the bout you've almost created a form of muscle memory without moving a muscle!
- Eat Properly
We all know that Roller Derby is a bloody knackering sport so if you don't fuel your body in the right way then you will suffer at some point in the bout. SWAT Skater Vampira has been monitoring her calorie burn during training and bouts. She has been burning over 2000 calories in a bout! Read her full story here. So if you are using up that amount of energy you need the right foods pre match. I'm not talking about a bar of dairy milk and a can of Monster. The night before a bout you need to start thinking about taking on some slow release carbs. Personally, the night before any sporting event I go for pasta, pesto, peppers, pine nuts and tuna so I get a hit of protein as well. The morning of the event its oats with raisens, honey and banana. That way I cover the slow and quick release of energy. Think about snacks for the bout. Bananas are great quick release energy. You rarely see a tennis player shovelling anything else in their mouth between sets. Lastly for this section you need to hydrate well and stay hydrated. Have a water bottle and keep filling it up. Restoring the electrolytes you lose through sweating aids a quicker recovery. If like me you thought electrolytes were something to do with plug sockets and solar panels then you are mistaken. They are essentially the sports science collective name for the salts you use in your body. You can read more about their function here. You can buy a range of drinks that offer electrolyte replacment.
- Get a Playlist
Music is great for getting us in the zone. I love putting playlists together. In fact they punctuate my life. Take some time to put together some music that puts you in the head space you need to be in to win. This music will become part of the success routine. Play it on the way to the bout and get in the zone. I'll put some playlist examples together for another article soon.