Do you have a pre-game routine that goes beyond warming up and stretching your muscles?

If you want to be better prepared for your game, you need to ready not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.

Even professional athletes go through pre-game jitters. And this doesn’t mean they are ill-prepared or scared. This just means that they feel anxious and excited before a good game. For athletes, this is a good thing. It means that the fire they feel for the sport is still there. It also means that they’re not bored. More importantly, this could mean that they are not overly confident which may ruin their performance just as much a lack of confidence can.

Why do I need a pre-game mental preparation technique?

Before entering the court or field, athletes should be their best selves. They should be prepared mentally and emotionally. Their mindset should be a positive one. Each player will have their own technique on how to get themselves in the right state-of-mind.

Without controlling your thoughts and preparing your mind, you won’t feel relaxed as you start your game. And how can you enjoy the experience of playing when your jitters are out of control? In fact, feeling anxious can throw your game off completely. And going out on the court not confident in your abilities means not playing to your full potential.

Quieting your mind to remind yourself of what it took you to get to this point is essential to playing your best and having fun.

If you don’t have a pre-game mental preparation technique in place for yourself, here are some tips:

  • Focus on yourself as an athlete and remove all the other elements from your mind. At this time, do not think about your upcoming test in history or the party you’ve been invited to. Don’t think about the chores you have waiting for you when you get home. Be present in this moment and concentrate on being an athlete and nothing more.
  • Don’t think about the outcome. Remove any thoughts about the final score or how many points are expected of you.
  • Find your confidence. Be self-aware of your abilities as an athlete and the role you play on the team.
  • Visualize how you want to execute your game. Be realistic and don’t fantasize. Know what you are capable of and focus on the execution rather than the results.
  • Take a deep breath and align your body with your mind. Trust in your skills and be ready to go out there and do your best.