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What To Do The Day Before Your Sporting Competition

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What To Do The Day Before Your Sporting Competition

The day before competition has a large impact on how you will perform on the day of your competition. It can leave you feeling slow and sluggish or amped and ready to perform. Logic would suggest taking a day off and resting your muscles would be the best strategy, but we've found that this isn't the case.

You work really hard all year long to be able to peak and be ready for competitions, conditioning your body to handle the stresses of your sport. You are used to exercising all the time, and so by taking a complete day off you can go into the next day feeling stiff and lethargic. I'm not suggesting you try and hit new PB's in the gym and try for a new one rep max. But completing some higher intensity work with really low volume can best prepare your muscles and central nervous system for the next day.

At Inner Athlete, we use a potentiation circuit the day or two before competition. The point of the circuits is to excite the nervous system and muscles enough to be prepared for maximal force output but not create any lasting fatigue. The research suggest that the effects of this training can last anywhere from 5 minutes up to 48 hours depending on the type and duration of exercise.

The protocol which we follow is using 6 exercises that will take 5-10 seconds to complete, for 5 rounds and done every minute on the minute. The complete session with a warmup shouldn't take more than 45 minutes with the circuit taking only 30 minutes to complete. The exercises are split between upper, lower, whole body and core movements.

We have seen really good results with young athletes in all sports after using the potentiation circuit the day before competition. The feedback has always been positive, saying they feel a lot lighter and more explosive than they normally do on the day of competition.

Below is the general template we would use for an athlete.

Circuit Template:

  • Lower/jump
  • Lower/jump
  • Lower/jump
  • Upper push
  • Upper pull
  • Core/sport specific movement

Below are two examples of how the session, based on the experience level of the young athlete and their respective sports.

Beginner Potentiation Circuit (Tennis Player):

  • Heels elevated broad jump x3
  • Lateral bounds with butt bungee x3 e/s
  • Medball rugby pass x3 e/s
  • Band assisted plyo push-ups x5
  • Banded rows x6
  • Banded split jumps x3 e/s

Immediate Potentiation Circuit (400m Sprinter):

  • Heels elevated broad jump x3
  • SL triple hop x1 e/s
  • Reactive 2DB bench x5
  • Reactive 1DB row x4 e/s
  • Split squat jumps on step x5 e/s
  • Banded jumps/pogo's x6

For more information on strength and conditioning for youth athletes and increasing your sports performance, check out our website and podcast available on Spotify and YouTube!

You can also book a FREE consultation by emailing info@inner-athlete.com.au.

Matt Hucul
Strength and Conditioning Coach
Inner Athlete - Bayside's premium strength and conditioning coaching for youth athletes

#youthathletes #youngathletes #teenathletes #sportsperformance #potentiationcircuit

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