Preparation: beyond the practice board

Written by
Raymond Smith

One thing I have done in recent times is work on the non-dart related preparation.

Getting solid practice in before major events is key to reaching your performance objectives, however, on the day you don't want to go in feeling flat, tired or drained because your non-dart preparation doesn't support your practice.

2 weeks before a major event, ensure you drink at least 2 litres of water a day.

Water will assist the body clear out acidic build-up caused by foods which can contribute to making you feel sluggish and tired. Water also assists with brain function and energy levels throughout the day.

The added bonus of staying hydrated? Some of the study pieces I have read show a substantial decline in mood and concentration after losing 1-3% of their Body Weight to dehydration.

The simulated effects of alcohol consumption equated to a dehydration equivalent of losing 2.5% of body mass via exercise before environmental factors. Add in the heat and salty/sugary foods and we are easily clipping the 3%. If you ensure you are sufficiently hydrated prior to the events and take on 2 litres of water throughout the day, you can limit the impacts.

In addition to drinking water 2 weeks out from an event, I also try to reduce dinner portion sizes each night. I also eat 2 Avocados a week and 1 piece of fruit rich in Vitamin C each day. Since doing this I haven't felt heavy going in to events and have been able to maintain my energy and concentration levels for a whole weekend.

As a constant I usually take a 5 minute break at least every 2 hours to stretch. While doing this I like to practice managing my heart rate through breathing. Elevating or reducing your heart rate is a great exercise, especially when you can bring your heart rate down in pressure moment.

The last thing I do is ensure I get a good night's sleep before the event. Even if you don't sleep the whole night, your body will thank you for a chance to rest!

By Raymond Smith

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