Ultimate guide to pre-match preparation

Camaraderie, clarity, carbohydrates – guarantee a victory on the opening day of the new season by organising your week with match-winning precision



More after the break


Team day out! Get together with the lads to create team spirit and improve understanding.



Hit the gym and focus on building fitness. Run hard for four minutes, then rest for one, and repeat four times.



Arrange team meeting to set targets for the season. Pinpoint exactly what we want to achieve. Clarity creates confidence!



Fitness work. Sprint from the goal-line to the edge of the penalty box and back, then to the halfway line and back. Finish with a sprint to the opposing byline and back. Recover for 30 seconds between reps.



Ball work. Play 2 v 2 games in training to improve sharpness. After training, tell the lads to hit the cold tap in the shower for six to eight minutes to circulate blood and repair muscles quicker.



Sort the pre-match music. Find a track for the dressing room that raises the hairs on the back of the neck before kick-off. This will help energise the team!



Work on easing tension. Practise inhaling deep, and upon exhaling speak a word that encapsulates mental focus. Use before kick-off tomorrow. Get to bed early!



Eat a high-GI carb breakfast – cornflakes, skimmed milk, jam on white bread, Lucozade. Drink black coffee 60 minutes prior to kick-off.


Advice provided by Brentford’s Tom Bates (@TomBatesCoachng), elite physio Nick Worth, Pro Athlete Sports Nutrition director Jon Williams (@ProAthleteSupps) and mental skills coach Brad Busch (@Inner_Drive)

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