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Monica solana

We talk about "Four tips to approach a World Championship" with Dr. Mònica Solana

October 18, 2023

Our students and teammates of the URL men's football team are heading off to the World Championship in China. Today we spoke to Dr. Monica Solana to give advice to our athletes.

Dr. Mònica Solana has a degree in Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, is a physiotherapist, professor of the Bachelor's Degree in Physical Activity and Sport Sciences (CAFE) at the School of Psychology, Education and Sport Sciences since 2002. She is also the physical trainer and head of injury prevention of the senior swimming team of the Royal Spanish Swimming Federation (RFEN), of which she has been a member since 1995. She has been involved as a physical trainer at the Olympic Games in Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 (Olympic slalom team), London 2012, Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020. Lest that's still not enough, Monica has participated with the cycling, canoeing, motorcycling and athletics federations of Turkey, Slovenia and Portugal. Today we sat down with her to give advice to our athletes from the URL football team, who are heading to China to compete in the world championships.

We met her in the corridor of the School, laughing and engaged, and asked her to explain to us how our students should prepare for a world championship. "The first thing I want to do is to congratulate them, because they are there on merit, and I wish to send them a big hug". As she says, what has been trained is already done, "the training they have done is in their body, in their muscles; now it's time to take care of themselves while they are there".

First tip: sleep

"The first element of repair and uptake from training is sleep."

When you're at a championship like this, you meet a lot of people and it's very tempting to go out and party. But, it is extremely important, Professor Solana tells us, to avoid going out the night before, highlighting the importance of getting a good night's sleep. Having a good dinner and a good night's sleep the night before is very important. Download a mindfulness app to help you get a good night's sleep.

Second tip: hydration

"Drink at all times, try to drink and combine water with isotonic drink."

Hydration is a crucial element in a high-level competition. Not just at the competition, but throughout the flight. Hydration on a flight before arriving at the training camp is hugely important. Drink every half hour on the plane, even if you are not thirsty.

Third tip: eat well during the tournament

"Eat a balanced meal and have a carbohydrate-rich dinner the night before the match."

During the tournament, you should eat a balanced meal in balanced quantities. A poor diet can lead to: fatigue, tiredness or poor performance in a match. Lack of hydration and poor nutrition throughout the training camp can lead to muscle problems and fatigue. The night before a match: hydrates. But if you do weight training, try to make that dinner richer in protein. It's fine to eat junk food one day, but the fewer times the better, and always away from match days.

Fourth tip: How can we cope with such a long plane journey?

"We should avoid traveler's edema"

In this case, the trip to China is a very long trip in economy class.

- Hydration

- Get up every half hour and walk the length of the plane

- Do toe-heel, toe-heel exercises

- Stretching exercises for the back of the thigh and the front of the hip, which are the muscles that tend to contract the most.

- Neck movements to both sides, circles behind the shoulders, rotation of the head to one side or the other. Try to keep the fatigue of sitting to a minimum for the shoulders.

All this is necessary to avoid edema of the lower limbs or traveler's edema, i.e. circulatory problems that cause swelling in the legs.

The URL men's football team is heading for the World Championships in China! With 13 FPCEE students!

Ramon Llull University (URL) is going to China. The men's football team has flown this Tuesday 17th to Jinjiang to compete in the International University Sports Federation (FISU) World Cup, which will be held from 21 October to 1 November. A total of 13 students from the School's SES, Sports Management and Primary Education bachelor's degrees form part of the squad.

The URL is representing Spain in this university world championship, which is held every two years. All the matches can be watched live on the International University Sports Federation (FISU) channel.

URL's first match will be on October 21 at 3 pm (9 am Barcelona time) against the current world champions, the University of Uruguay. The University's second match will be played on October 23 at 7 pm (1 pm Barcelona time) against the University of New Zealand. The top two finishers from each group will progress to the quarter-finals and the third will play in the 9th to 12th place phase. These matches will be played from October 27.

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