Gameday is a special day for hoopers. It is the day when all the hard work, training, and preparation finally come together. It is important for a player to have the right mentality on gameday to perform at their best. Here are some examples of things a player should think about or do during the day of a game:
-Stick to a game day ritual: If you are all over the place, your mind will also be overloaded which may cause you to be unnecessarily on edge. Especially on game days, you need to have a rhythm to know when you will eat, and other things to get you ready. If you find a game day ritual that works for you, then stay with it. If you do not have one, maybe now is the time to figure out what works and what not.
-Have a good breakfast and stay hydrated: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it is even more crucial for athletes. A player should eat a balanced and nutritious breakfast to fuel their body and provide them with the energy they need for the game. Start your day off right.
Hydration is essential for athletic performance. Drinking before, during, and after exercising (or an event) is the best way to stay hydrated. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty. Water is the best choice. Fruit juice mixed with water is another refreshing drink. But avoid soda, especially caffeinated ones.
-Get enough rest: Rest is crucial for athletes. A player should make sure they get enough sleep the night before the game to ensure they are well-rested and energized for the game. On a typical game day overseas, you will have a shoot around in the morning and then you will be on your own until the game. Make sure that during your down time, you rest up. It may sound simple enough, but I cannot emphasize that enough.
-Visualize success: Visualization is a powerful, yet underrated tool that athletes can use to improve their performance. A player should visualize themselves succeeding and performing at their best during the game. Block out all distractions or negative thoughts. Be in a relaxed atmosphere as well. Visualize yourself making plays and doing what is needed to win.
-Eat a healthy pre-game meal: Once again, figure out what works for your body. If you’re going to eat a meal, have it 1 1/2 to 3 hours before game time. If you have a full stomach, your body will need to spend energy digesting food, leaving less for you to use in your game. But you don’t want to be hungry either.
-Warm-up properly: A proper warm-up is essential to prevent injury and prepare the body for the game. A player should spend enough time warming up and stretching to ensure their body is ready for the game.
Here it is also important to find a routine that works for you. Getting shots up early, getting your ankles taped, watching film or whatever that gets you locked in will be more effective if you do it the same way each game with room for minor adjustments of course.
Having the right mentality is crucial for your success…not just on game days, but everyday. If you follow these simple examples, you will be on the right path to perform at your best during the game.