The 48 hours before a competition can be a very stressful time and are undoubtedly the most vital to your success. You want everything to be perfect such as your sleep, food, physio, mental focus and body prep.
You wake up on the morning of a competition and your mind is racing through the events, you find your appetite shot, you've slept really bad, your backs a mess from sleeping on your side all night and you're left feeling like you've lost before you've even started.
First things first
Firstly, be confident You've got to put the work in and gaining confidence comes from your prep. If you have trained as hard as you can, never missed a session and have basically done as much as you can then that is how your confidence is filled. Being confident and believing in yourself is half the battle!
Sleep goes hand in hand with mental focus, you want to think about what's coming up but without worrying about it too much and getting your adrenaline flowing too early. My advice is to give yourself tasks for the day, something easy, like getting a massage and then build your day around that. Outside of your tasks use scented candles, deep breathing and avoid conversation surrounding the competition, this will help you stay focused and prevent you from getting overwhelmed. So politely ask your partner and friends not to mention it. Watch interesting documentary's and comedies, basically anything to take your mind away from the competition and allow yourself to totally unwind.
Food for me is the most important part in competition prep. The 48 hours before the competition I recommended that you eat a lot more calories than normal and also increase your fluid intake. You need to eat easily digested foods such as porridge, yogurt, fruit, and natural fats like coconut oil. Also eat lots of carbs and sugar, try and consume natural sugars where possible such as fruit and honey etc, this will help prepare your body for a big draw on energy on the day.
Physio should be utilised year round, but it is especially important to make sure your muscles are rested and relaxed, so a good deep tissue massage is essential 48 hours before the contest.
Body prep is absolutely vital, being mobile and relaxed is very important so you can deliver maximum power and it also aids in mental prep. Stretch heavily on your build up to a show and the day before to make sure everything is loose, any tight muscles need stretching until they are fully released. Hot baths and cold showers help release toxins and shift any lactic acid in the muscles.
The day of the competition
It's the morning of the competition and if you've done all the above then don't stress, you've done all you can. It's good to wake up nice and early, then focus on nothing but the event. Try and eat little and often, small portions of porridge and the odd flapjack/strawberry are great, I know eating can be tough because of your nerves so little and often is essential to avoid feeling sick. Consume as many carbohydrate drinks as you can, still Lucozade is great for holding hydration levels and gives you a huge constant supply of glucose. Stretch with aggression, bouncing stretches work well to get the muscles fired up and prepared for the explosive movements. Keep warm and use heating oils to warm up the areas you're going to use. Spray Deep Heat onto your back, elbows and knees, then cover them up with thin neoprene' sleeves to help keep them warm. Play relaxing but motivating music, I like to play music from my childhood music such as Eminem and try to think about my really happy teenage days. Practice deep breathing and do something to keep your mind off the show, a good example is to count your breaths, watch a comedy and even a little meditation to help you zone out for an hour.
I hope this look into my 48 hour competition prep helps you, good luck with your competitions!