One of the most overlooked aspects of a player's game is how they prepare for the game itself.
Having a good routine and preparation could give you that extra boost and confidence to go into a game in order to perform your best and most optimally.
In this article, I will be going over some of the best strategies and tips to get yourself both physically and mentally prepared for your next game.
While this might seem like a simple tip and one you might already be doing. The truth of the matter is many players do not take this part of pre-game preparation seriously or do not perform this effectively.
One thing I always tell my players is that you have to prepare your body for the speed at which you will be playing.
This does not mean you have to go all out and get a huge sweat going, but this also does not mean you should be walking around and barely moving.
I cannot tell you what feeling warmed up feels like because you know your own individual body better than anyone else would.
But what I am saying is that you should take the necessary steps in warmups in order to feel fresh and ready to go once the game starts.
Pro Tip: I also recommend players should try and tweak any problems they may be having before tip-off even starts.
For example, if you are having problems with your floater and finishing ability then working on that before the game can give you that added confidence once your game begins.
2. Develop A Similar Routine
This is both a mental as well as a physical tip for your pregame routine.
Developing a similar routine can give both your mind and body the calmness and preparation it needs to go into a game.
This can be all up to since every player is individually very different. Some like to listen to music while others like to be quiet or even meditate before a game.
Just make sure you find a routine that works for you and try to repeat that game by game.
For more tips on a pregame routine click on the link here.
A great way for a player to both get their mind and body prepared is by visualizing how they would like the game to go beforehand.
This can be a very meditative practice for players in order for them to calm their nerves down and feel ready to go before game time.
4. Manage Stress
Stress can be one of the biggest obstacles for athletes in order to perform at their optimal level.
And in order for an athlete to really optimize their performance, they need to reduce as much stress as they can before the game starts in their preperation.
Below I will be going over a few simple tricks and tips both physically and mentally to reduce stress before a big game.
Sleep is one of the best and easiest natural performance enhancers a human can get.
And in fact, a lack of sleep can cause major damage and stress to the body if this area of your life is not optimal.
This is why some of the best athletes in the world have been known to sleep 12 hours a day.
Now I am not saying you have to go that far, but if you want to eliminate some unwarranted stress from your life I would highly recommend getting a good night's rest before your game.
Below is a great video explaining the importance of sleep and how it can enhance every area of your life.
Mindfulness is a simple process in which you focus your awareness on what you thinking and feeling in that moment.
It is a great tool to slow down your thinking and understand what blocks might be in the way of your performing your best.
A great simple technique you can use is by focusing on your breath, and every time your mind wonders you can then bring your attention back to the breath.
Take Time Out For You
if your about to play a big game a lot of the time there is a lot of energy and noise around you at all times.
One piece of advice I give to players is to take time out for you to get some alone time and clear your thoughts.
This can be on the car ride over to the game or simply putting in your headphones and going to a quieter area of the place you are about to play in. It is really up to you.
5. Enjoy The Process
Remember why we play basketball FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME!
I am not saying you should not want to perform at your best or be serious at times but what I have noticed throughout the years is that when players are loose and having fun they tend to play much better.
This can be done however you would like. Some players like listening to music, others might like to dance or joke around with teammates. Remember to enjoy yourself and appreciate that we get to play the game we love so much.
And if anything by being happier and more confident going into a game you will almost always play better.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What is the best thing to eat before a game?
Answer: A general rule and advice I give to players are to not eat anything too high in either fat or protein before a game.
You generally want your pregame meal to be pretty boring in all honesty. Some good food to eat before a game would be things like bread, fruits, vegetables, and even simple carbs like sweet potatoes or whole-grain pasta.
And also you generally do not want to eat too soon before your game so give yourself an hour or two before the game to start eating.
Question: How do I quit being so nervous before a game and how do I prepare for that?
Answer: Most nervousness stems from your fear of failing in the game. And one way of combatting this in your preparation is by looking over at your opposition and realizing your opponents are humans too.
They are feeling a lot of the same emotions you are feeling and by understanding this you can then go into the game realizing that the team you are so afraid of is more similar to you then they are different from you.
I hope this article gave you some useful and helpful tips in order for you to feel fully ready and confident to crush it in your next game.
Thank you for reading and as always keep hooping my friends.
Below I will be going over a few simple tips