Pre-game rituals are probably the most important thing an athlete can do to ground himself and set his mind right, right before the game.
You see, a lot of athletes get nervous before a big game, this is understandable and more than likely unavoidable.
It’s human nature to get nervous before being put to the test.
You’re about to go out in front of 100’s or even 1000’s of people and show case your athletic skills.
If you don’t ground yourself and you stay up in your head, your performance will suffer.
Getting in the ZONE is the most important thing an athlete can do before a big game.
When you’re in the zone, everything else around you doesn’t exist.
You’re present and are able to react at the drop of a dime.
Now, for some athletes it might be hard to get into the ZONE.
This is where rituals come into play.
One ritual that’s pretty popular among athletes is listening to music that hypes them up.
Music that will get your adrenaline and heart rate pumping.
This is a great strategy.
But one thing that I’ve done different is adding a calming song to the list.
A song that brings you back to a place where you had no worries or pressures.
When you’re able to emotionally go into this nostalgic place, you’re more likely to be calm and present during the game.
This, coupled with connected breathing are my 2 favorite rituals that I’ve done myself and have seen other athletes do.
If you aren’t aware, connected breathing is when you’re breathing in and out of your nose but concentrating on NOT pausing.
What this allows an athlete to do is steer clear of all the thoughts going through their mind of scenarios that might occur in the game.
You’ll notice that when you pause your breathing, thoughts and fear will start to creep in.
Practice the connected breathing
It’ll help ground you and bring you back into the ZONE.
Before your next game, I highly recommend you try out these 2 rituals.
If you have your own rituals that you do before a big game drop them down in the comments below, I’d love to hear them.