Go behind the scenes with England cricket hero Stuart Broad MBE...
The day before
The day before is all about getting mentally ready and then switching off entirely. So in the morning I’ll get up, get ready, have some breakfast and join the team for a light bat and bowl at the ground.
We’ll warm up and go to the nets where the top four bowlers will bowl at the top four batsmen for half an hour.
I go out to the middle of the pitch, visualise myself bowling from both ends and walk around imagining the crowd and try and picture the roaring or booing. Then I bowl balls to the wicket keeper so the next day when I have the ball in my hand, I feel like I’ve done it a million times before. It’s a strategy I’ve done religiously for five years now.
We’ll do a bit of fielding as a team just to get a feel for the ground and the different seats. For us, it’s important to get the dimensions of our surroundings because each place is different.
We’ll head back to the changing room and get any last minute treatment. I’ve had a sore knee in the past so I’ll get my quads rubbed to take some pressure off my knee.
Food will get put on for us at the ground. It’ll generally be a chicken dish or pasta: quite healthy and carb heavy because we’ll be fuelling up for the next day.
We’ll have the rest of the day off. For me, it’s usually golf because I don’t want to be sitting around thinking about the game. Emotionally I can make myself really nervous and tired if I stew over it but with golf, I’m thinking about an entirely different game. It’s not physically demanding and the day can go quite quickly.
I’ll get back to the hotel room; shower, change and I’ll be straight back out. I don’t like to lie on my bed too much the day before a game because I find it stiffens up my back and won’t do me any good.
I’ll go out with the boys for dinner. There are usually six or seven of us who grab a table and have dinner and if my girlfriend’s down then I’ll have something with her. I’ll have some protein and a sweet potato or carbohydrates to set up for the next day.
I’ll get back to my room and put on a box set because if I put on a movie, it’ll take too long to finish. Right now I’m finishing Sons Of Anarchy so I’ll watch an episode or two of that.
It’s lights out at 10.30 so I get enough rest for the next day.
I wake up to James Bay’s Hold Back The River. Embarrassingly at the GQ awards I was stood next to him and my girlfriend told him that he was my alarm; it was so cringe but he thought it was really cool. It’s just a relaxing song and I’ve never liked being woken up quickly so I’ll roll around before getting in the shower.
I’ll go down to breakfast and I’ll always have the same thing – poached eggs and baked beans on brown toast. I’ll make sure I have some Dioralyte to hydrate because we loose a lot of fluid out there.
Straight after breakfast the team bus will arrive and we’ll make our way to the ground. If it’s a long drive to the ground – like it is in Dubai where it took an hour – then I’ll watch some box sets or watch something on my phone to zone out.
We all have our own routines we like to follow that will make us feel more comfortable. For me I’ll hang my match clothing in the same way – my cap on the left peg, my match shirt next to it, trousers on the next peg and then my training kit down. Then I’ll get my legs taped; generally it’s my left because I get a lot of impact on that.
I don’t like to get my emotions up too quickly because I want to peak when the game starts around 11am. At this point I’m just relaxed, chatting with the boys but if I’m quiet and insular it means I’m really nervous.
I like running over the boundary rope when I first get on the field because I like that intensity of feeling like I’m running at the game with all I have.