Most professional players have a specific pre-tournament or pre-match routine that they follow religiously. They might nap several hours before, or have the same meal before each more, or do a long warm up. Have you developed a routine before your own matches? In this post, we will cover why a pre-game routine is important for performance and provide an example routine that you might follow in the future!
Why Follow a Routine?
Routines are meant to be followed as close to or exact as possible. Throughout all different sports, jobs, or more, the most successful people follow some sort of routine. In sports specifically, these pre-game routines are crucial for many different reasons.
They help you get into the right mindset - for many athletes, this pre-game routine signifies the sequence of steps they follow to lead themselves into the match. This routine could start to help them get into their game time focus and cut out all their distractions, and turn on their focus mode.
They help you warm up - most pre-game routines also involve some sort of warmup. This could involve actually playing on the court, some active stretching, or more to help loosen the body and get the body flowing.
They help you to calm your nerves - the pre-game routine is the only thing you can control before your match. During the match, anything can happen, but a familiar routine will help your mind settle as you know what to expect.
These 3 reasons play an important part as to why many athletes like to follow an identical routine before any of their tournament matches.
Here is an example routine that you might follow before your next tournament or important match!
3 hours before the match - light meal or snack. This might be your last chance to fuel up before the game. Try and eat a banana, a light meal, or a snack before your match to give yourself the nutrients and energy you need to play the match!
2 hours before the match - body warm-up. Here, we can start to loosen up the body with some active stretching, light jogging, or dynamic warmup. Start to get your blood flowing and your body loose and ready for more intense exercising.
1 hour before the match - on court warm-up. For badminton players, this part means going through all your shots, footwork, and consistency. Do some light drills to keep the blood flowing and to gain confidence in your shots.
15 minutes before the match - meditation or focus. Calm your mind before the match. Focus on what you plan on playing, or just clear your entire mind with some meditation. Don’t let any other thoughts distract you anymore.
Do You Already Have a Routine?
If you already have a routine, we’d love to hear from you what yours is! These pre-game routines are unique to each and every person as everyone has a different way they like to prepare for a match. If you don’t have a routine yet, try and make one to reap the benefits of a pregame routine.