Preparing to compete in tournaments is something that most players place far too little importance on. You can’t really lift your performance much by preparing well for a tournament, but by not preparing you most certainly can bring down your performance. Here are some tips on how you can prepare for tournaments to make sure that you are as comfortable as possible thus ensuring the best performance possible.
Create a packing checklist
This is a tip that a sports psychologist once gave me. One of the biggest causes of stress for traveling athletes is forgetting something important, or even something that isn’t that important, but gives you comfort. Do you use your iPod before matches to get ready? How would you feel if you’re on your airplane about to take off when you realize you have forgotten your iPod? Or even worse, your court shoes or rackets!! By creating a packing checklist you will reduce the chances that you forget something before you leave.
Cut down on heavy training leading up to the event
This may be a controversial point for some players. I know some people who like to ramp up their training before playing to get themselves ready to go, I don’t agree with this. Leading up to a tournament you want to have your body feeling good, and the last thing you want is to injure yourself right beforehand. By reducing your training volume slightly the days before you will have more energy for your tournaments. Also, playing more games and cutting back on the of court physical stuff could be a good idea as well.
Book accommodation close to the badminton courts
The last thing you want is to have to take expensive taxis to the hall, or worse walk a long distance, before you have to play. This is often something that the tournament organizers should be responsible for taking care of, but if you’re on your own be sure to keep this in mind.
Confirm your itinerary well in advance
You don’t want to be booking flights and hotels at the last minute. What happens if you arrive with no place to stay? Or you can’t find a cheap flight and have to pay a heavy price for booking late? If you only play a couple tournaments a year this is no big deal, but when you are playing dozens a year you need to be efficient and economical.
Watch your diet
A lot of people talk about carb loading your diet before an event, but I’m not a dietitian so I’m not going to give you specific advice on that, all I’m going to say is watch what you eat. You know when you’re eating badly. Avoid McDonalds, KFC, and other fast food restaurants. Don’t go for fish and chips. Don’t eat greasy, oily food. Eat healthy, if you don’t know how to do that then talk to a dietitian. If you can’t afford a dietitian, then ask your mom what you should eat, she’s probably been trying to get your to eat your vegetables for years!
Don’t try learn new things
The week before a tournament is NOT the time to be trying to add some new shot to your game, or to be changing your footwork drastically. Focus on doing what you already do well. If you try to add something new to your game, you will confuse yourself and make more mistakes than you should.
I’m sure there are a million other things you can do to prepare for a tournament, what do you do to prepare yourself for a tournament??