Preparation is vital before a rugby match. We asked French fly-half Jean-Marc DOUSSAIN to give us his advice. 


France international Jean-Marc DOUSSAIN, a Lyon player since last year, gives his advice on how to prepare for a match. We give you the lowdown on a process that starts a few days before the game. 




The week leading up to a match is important. You have to be ready for the match and that involves training and eating properly. Jean-Marc says you have to adapt your training through the week to how tired you are. Before the match, training should largely be focused on technical rather than physical work. 

“You have your team training sessions, which I take part in, and I also have my own personal workload based on the position I play in (scrum-half or fly-half). There's a lot of technical work that is repeated over the week and which varies depending on how tired I am. As for my physical preparation, that's all organised with the fitness coaches in line with what the coach wants or my personal needs.”

As for food, you can't change everything the week before a match. Your diet is something you need to pay attention to right the way through the season. And that is especially true in the days before a match, so that you don't overdo things. 

“When it comes to eating I prepare the same way through the season. I try to not to eat to excess because we're weighed every week and because, more than anything else, I just want to feel good physically and mentally.”



The day before you play is always important. What you eat and drink and how you prepare mentally figure among the tiny details that can make all the difference on match day. Jean-Marc reminds us of the importance of a balanced diet and good mental preparation.

“First and foremost, you have to plan your meals and eat pretty much the same stuff the day before a game (raw vegetables, pasta, meat/fish, fruit, dairy products). And above all you have to take on the right fluids. As for the mental side, I go through things with my mental coach, whom I've started working with on a regular basis this year.”

Another aspect that cannot be overlooked is sleep. It's vital to get a good night's sleep before a game so that your body is properly rested, though that can sometimes be difficult. 

“Sleep is so important on the day before a game, but it's hard sometimes to get the rest you need. A little nap on matchday can make up for a bad night's sleep though!”




The preparation doesn't stop on matchday! Some players have their own little routines on the morning before a game.Jean-Marc tells us about his. 

“I like to get up quite early, before 9am. I start off by having a good breakfast. I then take the time go through the game plan for the weekend. Then it's lunchtime and it's the same again: a balanced meal that gives me the nutrients I need. If I've got the time before a match, I'll have a nap to make sure I'm properly rested. Finally, and depending on kick-off time, we'll have a team session to waken up the muscles, either in the morning or afternoon, followed by a team talk from the coach. After that it's time to head to the stadium.” 


Jean Marc's advice on STRESS MANAGEMENT

“This is something you shouldn't be afraid of. You need to see the positive side of asking for advice or working with people who are competent in the field. I see mental preparation as a way of unblocking situations and overcoming obstacles in your development as a rugby player or even in your personal life.”

Now that you've read Jean-Marc DOUSSAIN's tips on preparing for a match, make sure you read what we have to say about recovering after a game.