Rugby Matchday Performance

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Rugby is an enormously demanding sport which takes a huge toll both physically and mentally. As such, proper preparation is essential to being able to perform on the pitch week after week and remain fit and healthy. Jamie Bain, the strength & conditioning coach at USN sponsored Gloucester Rugby has outlined the prep involved on match day.

Pre-Match

Nutrition

Pre-match receive B4-Bomb to provide caffeine, hydrogen buffers such as beta-alanine and citrulline malate and some carbs for energy. Cyto-Power is also provided to maintain players hydration levels leading up to kick off. Lastly a Pure Protein Bar staves off hunger and provides vital nutrients.

Physio

Physios will tape the players as well as provide soft tissue massage to activate inhibited muscles and relieve tightness. There are a number of ways to ensure that a players muscle tissues are in the desired state and everything is tailored to each player’s individual needs.

Physical

Along with the general team warm up, each player follows their own prep routine. Some use foam rollers, glute bands or a fit kit pro to warm up various joints and body parts. After this skill specific speed, handling & positional drills are performed such as kicking, lineouts, tackling etc.

Post Match

Nutrition

Immediately post match a player is up on the scales to weight how much water has been lost, with a recommendation to consume 1.5 litres of fluid for every kilo of bodyweight lost. Straight after the weigh in the players have a protein shake in the form of a Pure Protein RTD, to provide them with protein and carbs for recovery, along with recovery pills including ZMA, Creatine X4 and Omega 3. Players then have access to fruit and wraps and once showered and changed a healthy meal with the opposition team.

Recovery

Players will then take the leap into the ice baths for recovery. The protocol we use changes depending on the time of year but is usually either contrast bathing (alternating hot and cold) or a 3-5min constant immersion.

Physio

Injured players report directly to the physios post match who will assess them, give them intial treatment and then plan their therapy approach for the following few days. For players who need them there is access to ice and compression devices to reduce swelling as much as possible.

Medical and physical monitoring

Following a standard Saturday match players are given a hard-earned rest on the Sunday before reporting back into work on Monday morning. This not only gives the players a rest but the medical and sports science staff time to analyse the GPS and Heart Rate data that has been gathered during the game which enables us to provide valuable feedback on each player’s performance and conditioning. On Monday players will be screened by the physios and then the sport science staff will record their own markers. This data is used along with the match data to plan the training work in terms of loading and players are individually modified. Finally the players undertake a recovery protocol including foam rolling and stretching, spin biking and swimming. This aids recovery and prepares the players for the training week ahead.

To Sum Up

Strength and Conditioning and Medical staff clearly work very hard to provide the best environment for performance over the course of what is an extremely challenging season. Protocols used are aimed not only at improving performance but also recovery to maintain player availability as much as possible. USN’s nutritional products help support both goals and are crucial to the efficacy of the protocols we provide.

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