Here at Hoops we’re committed to bringing you the most informative and motivational content possible – after all, we want you to love sport as much as we do! But we don’t know everything. So we’re going to be enlisting the help of regular columnists to help us fill in the gaps.
This week Hoops ambassador and Manchester Giants power forward Richard Bell gives us an insight into his game day preparation.
The day before a match
My routine the day before the game usually starts with breakfast around 8:30/9am before our team practice. Usually I eat a bowl of porridge with a glass of water.
Team practice starts at 10, where we go over our offensive and defensive strategies for the next day’s game, and also get some shooting practice in so our skills are sharp.
After practice, I go to the gym at around 11:30 and foam roll and stretch my body, particularly my legs so they aren’t sore for the next day’s game.
I’ll then eat lunch, sometimes at the gym or at home, which is varied; maybe some sandwiches, or some chilli with rice depending on what I’m feeling like.
“I’m very serious on game day, which some of my teammates give me a bit of stick about!”
Afterwards, I spend the rest of the day relaxing and getting off my feet – it’s a long season and the day before a game
I am doing nothing but resting and saving my energy after practice. The most work I’ll do is to watch the scouting report, videos clips of the opposing team we are about to play, so I am ready to compete against them.
Then I’ll watch movies or stream an NBA game, unless I have to work on a university assignment.
I make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and snack on things like fruit.
For dinner the night before a game, I will eat a carb-based meal. My favourite thing to make is a chicken and broccoli pasta bake. I always eat pasta the night before a game to store energy in my body.
"#Basketball is the greatest game"
— Hoops Connect (@Hoops_App) January 25, 2017
The day of the game I wake up around 10/11am to make sure I get plenty of sleep and I’m well rested.
I’ll then take a shower, get dressed and usually make some eggs for my first meal of the day, so I get a good source of protein in my body, as well as drinking plenty of water.
I eat my pre-game meal exactly four hours before the game, something I learned to do during my time playing college basketball in the US. This again will always be a carb-based meal, usually leftovers from the pasta dish I made the night before.
I’ll then leave for the game at around 3pm, but not before the last thing I always do before I leave for the game – I have to drink a coffee, usually a caramel latte, my favourite!
I pretty much start preparing mentally for the game from the day before, but on the day of the game I’m more locked in and I try to focus my mind on getting ready to compete and give everything I have to try and help my team win.
I don’t visualise how the game is going to go because I can’t control that. To me all I can control is how hard I play and compete – as long as I give it everything thing I have, I can live with the results.
But I do remind myself of previous performances when I played well and that reassures me of my abilities and gives me confidence.
Personally, I’m very serious on game day, I don’t like to joke around and I try to be very business-like – which some of my teammates give me a bit of stick about!
I also don’t listen to music before a game because I’m a believer in the idea that, as a basketball player, I shouldn’t need any help getting ready to play.
I tell myself to compete and play as hard as I can for my team and our fans, but I also remind myself to enjoy it as well because it’s a game and it’s supposed to be fun!
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