How a Pregame Routine Helps Athletes Succeed

How to Develop A Pregame Routine

How to Develop A Pregame Routine

Are you anxious prior to competitions?

Do you feel unsure before a game and fearful that you might mess up?

Prior to a competition, are your thoughts scattered and your mind filled with distractions?

Do you find it difficult to mentally prepare for a competition and get into the right mindset?

Anxiety, fear, worry, the inability to focus and difficulty getting into a competitive mindset are some of the major reasons for slow starts and under-performance.

Do you ever wonder how some athletes seem confident and just ready to compete from the start of competition?

The secret is really no secret at all…

Top athletes utilize a pre-competition or pregame routine that helps reduce distractions, minimize anxiety and allows them to slowly narrow their focus.

Basically, successful athletes use pregame rituals to prepare to compete and enter the competitive mindset that best suits them for optimal performance.

How do pregame routines work?

Well, when you are focused on your pregame routine, you are not focused on the ‘what if’s’, the strengths of your opponents, the noisy spectators, past performances and other distractions that generate anxiety, foster fear and create doubts in your ability.

Since you can only focus on one thing at a time, paying attention to your pregame routine grounds you in the present, keeps you relaxed and minimizes distractions.

Also, as you move through your warm up routine, it narrows your focus and moves you into your optimal competitive mindset.

Once you finish your warm up routine, you mind sends a signal through your body saying, “I’m ready to compete. Let’s go!”

Let’s see a couple examples of pregame routines…

Soccer player Ashley Guldager, consistently performs her routine to help her feel better prepared and ready to play prior to each game.

The interesting part of Guldager’s routine is that she also has a half-time routine.

GULDAGER:When walking to the field I play my own music, then switch to a warm up CD. I put my shoes and shin guards on in a certain order every time. Before we stretch, I always chew a certain kind of gum. I have an electrolyte drink before the game and a Gatorade at halftime.”

Lacrosse player Madison Hicks starts her pregame routine the night prior to a game and has seen great improvement in her play on the field.

HICKS: “I listen to a set playlist before going into the locker room, lay out my uniform the night before, and get my hair braided by a teammate. I started my routine because it got me into the game mindset, and I started to see improvement in the games.”

The message is the same… If you want to perform consistently at your peak, prepare consistently with a consistent warm up routine.

Developing Your Warm up Routine:

First answer this: “What puts you in the proper mindset to compete? What actions, prior to a competition, have helped you perform your best?”

Next, establish physical warm up routine you do prior to competition.

What order will you perform these actions? Writing out your routine may help you remember what to do prior to the first few competitions.

Integrate your pregame mental preparation strategies to help you feel confident, focused, and ready to trust in your skills.

Note: Stay focused on preparing yourself–mentally and physically–for the upcoming game, not on your opponents or the outcome!

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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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