| Written By Nick Giles

Three Pro Tips For Improving Your Matchday Performance

Want to improve your on-field performance but not sure how? Here’s Ross Burbeary, Performance Manager at Rotherham United, with a few tips to make sure you’re fit and firing on game day.

Tip 1: Get Quality Sleep

Sleep is key to keeping yourself fit, absorbing training benefits, and being fully switched on for games. Make sure you’re getting the sleep you need and find a consistent pattern that works for you.

  • Establish positive habits that help you to get at least eight hours sleep each night.
  • Understand what works for you when it comes to getting to sleep (e.g. pillow type, room temperature) and make sure your routine incorporates those things.
  • One good night’s sleep before a game isn’t enough, you need to be consistent throughout the week.

Ross says: “It’s not just about getting a good night’s sleep the night before a game. It needs to be focused throughout the course of the week.”

Tip 2: Smart Nutrition

A well-balanced diet can play a major role in boosting performance, but that doesn’t mean you have to make massive changes to what you eat. A small number of good habits can make a positive impact on your performance.

  • Don’t go overboard on isotonic drinks during training. Getting enough water and electrolytes should be your main priority.
  • Try to reduce your carbohydrate intake early in the week, slowly building it up as your next match approaches. This can be as simple as an extra handful of pasta with your main meal.
  • Don’t try to make huge, unsustainable changes to your diet all at once. Making small changes gradually can have a positive impact on performance over time.

Ross says: “Come away from excess carbohydrates at the start of the week, but build it up towards the end of the week when it comes to games.”

Tip 3: Active Recovery

Getting active on recovery days can be a good way to overcome soreness while simultaneously encouraging long-term fitness gains.

  • A strong aerobic base is the best way to ensure that you can recover quickly from sessions and be firing on all cylinders come matchday.
  • Passive recovery strategies (e.g. stretching and foam rolling) are important, but try not to be too reliant on them.
  • Don’t be afraid of running on recovery days, it can be an effective way to encourage fitness improvements.

Ross says: “To recover well, you need to be fit to begin with. Passive recovery is important, but the ability to recover comes down to fitness.”

Download the PLAYR app for more tips to improve your technical and physical performance.