Sports Insights: 7 Secrets to Positive Pregame Mental Preparation

Mental Preparation

Do you Have a Mental Preparation Routine?

The pregame warm up is much more than a physical warm up. You have to use this time to be mentally ready to compete. Most top athletes use pregame mental preparation routines to feel ready to perform their best and consistently perform up to their physical talent!

Hall of fame player Hank Aaron attributed much of his success in baseball to his mental preparation–both before and during the game. Aaron was one of the best hitters in the history of baseball and is a huge advocate of the mental game. When Aaron struggled to get a hit against a pitcher, he would go back to the dugout to study that pitcher.

Aaron believed that mental preparation and doing his “homework” was the key to becoming a top, consistent hitter year after year. He was a master at studying the pitcher before games. “I think about how a guy mentally prepares himself to do battle, to go out and face the pitcher. I think so many hitters do not know how to get themselves prepared to play or hit against a pitcher. You have to mentally be prepared to hit against all pitchers.” (Hanson, 1991)

Aaron treated each game differently because he had to face a different pitcher, and this required concentration on and visualization of the pitcher’s stuff. “You visualize [pitches]. You see it in your head; you think about it… I used to play every pitcher in my mind before I went to the ballpark. I started getting ready for every game the moment I woke up.” (Aaron & Wheeler, 1991)

Today, the world’s top athletes use pregame rituals or routines to help create the proper mindset for competition and practice. Your mental preparation should start a long time before the competition and involves more than just visualizing a successful performance. Pregame routines instill confidence, focus, and a success-oriented mindset at the start of competition.

Abby Wombach, the 3rd highest all-time goal scorer of the US Women’s National Soccer Team, understands the importance of mental preparation during her pregame routine to help her play at peak levels. How does she mentally prepare for big games?

“Coming into every game, I’m just trying to mentally prepare myself to leave it all on the field. Four hours before the game I eat a good meal — nothing too heavy. I hydrate all day long and I do a lot of mental imagery, I picture myself playing the game, I see myself doing all those things that my team is counting on me to do,” said Wombach.

Read the entire article 7 Secrets to Positive Pregame Mental Preparation.

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The Relaxed Athlete

Relaxed athlete

The ability to relax and play your game under pressure is what separates the winner from the loser in any competition. Champion athletes train hard in practice, are motivated for the right reasons, and are able to raise their game in crunch-time with two minutes remaining in the game..

A relaxed and confident performance begins in the mind! When you are mentally prepared to compete, you can have an optimal level of intensity AND poise!

The Relaxed Athlete program is ideal for any athlete that wants to overcome pregame anxiety, worry, or excess tension and learn to perform with poise. It’s also ideal for any coach or parent who wants to teach athletes to perform with poise and relaxation in competition.

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