Perhaps the most important part of a pre-game routine is the warm-up. It can be very easy to take warm-up time before a game for granted. Frequently, a lousy warm-up translates to a lousy performance. Sometimes just “breaking a sweat” isn’t enough to prepare you for that important game. What you do to pump yourself up shortly before a game has a significant impact on how well you play. Also, a good warm-up does nothing but help decrease the chance of injury. After all, what athlete doesn’t want to avoid injury?
When a game isn’t going well, some teams will collapse under chaos and frustration, appearing as if they have lost before the game is even over. An athlete’s body language can greatly influence their performance. A dejected athlete is just as contagious as one with high spirits. Next time you find yourself standing with your shoulders hunched or your head down, simply change it. They say “fake it until you make it,” which is reasonable advice in order to give your confidence a little boost in a game.
Visualization is a powerful tool that countless professional athletes use to perform at their peak. This also goes hand in hand with developing mental strength, which is an important factor in competing as calm and collected as possible. Picturing yourself dribbling past a raid of defenders, releasing the ball perfectly for that free throw or crossing that finish line first in your head prepares you for real game and competitive situations. Simply put, imagining success translates to real success in competition.