For every sport, regardless of what it is, you have to be mentally prepared for the game. You can't just decide to try out for a sport one day and expect to succeed—that’s not how it works for the majority of people at least. As much as sports take physical fitness, there are also key factors that can affect your mental preparedness for a game including preparation, time and commitment.
Let’s take a look at the different ways you can mentally prepare yourself for a game:
The late, great Vince Lombardi used to say, “Total dedication leads to total success.”
He was referring to dedication to both the mental and physical aspects of the game. Most coaches will tell you that mental preparedness is 80 percent, with physical being only 20 percent.
Total dedication to the game comes from being mentally prepared. One way to be mentally disciplined is to consistently allot time to practice and prepare for the game. We know this can prove challenging, especially while juggling school, homework and extracurricular activities, but dedicating even a small amount of time daily to practice your sport will help you to be better prepared mentally.
As you become more advanced in your athletic career, your dedication also takes a larger role in your mental preparedness. While we’re not suggesting you live, eat and breathe your sport—unless, of course, you’re a pro athlete—this does mean that you should strive to put your mental and physical preparedness for your sport first, especially during practice and season. Being dedicated to your sport will only help to make you more mentally and physically prepared for the game.
Every player has their own way of getting pumped-up before their next game. Some players talk, some players joke, some players sit quietly and some players listen to their favorite pre-game playlist, but regardless of their pre-game ritual, these players are getting pumped-up for the game.
Whether you prefer loosening up before a game, joking around in the locker room with your teammates or quietly meditating about the game ahead, pre-game rituals help you to tap into your inner-self so that you are fully prepared to go out onto the field or court.
Every sports legend has their own pre-game ritual, and finding what works for you will help you to be better prepared and focused for your next game.
One of the key aspects of success is visualization. Although it may seem quite simple, it’s often taken for granted.
Visualization means mentally visualizing the result or outcome of a game in a positive light. For instance, you can visualize yourself having a great game—playing to the best of your abilities, making all the right moves, scoring when you need to score or defending when you need to defend. For your team, visualize a win or visualize that everyone has a good game.
It has been shown time and time again, that athletes who visualize themselves performing well, actually do tend to perform well during a game. This phenomenon is also commonly known as a self-fulfilling prophecy, meaning that positive belief is ultimately reflected in positive behavior. Of course, visualization doesn’t automatically mean you’re going to have a great game and not visualizing doesn’t mean it’s necessarily going to be bad. Visualization simply puts you in a positive mindset, prepared for whatever outcome of the game. Being positively mentally prepared strengthens your chances that good things will happen, allowing you to be successful reaching your goal just the way you envisioned it.
With Squad Locker, we can help you to be even better prepared for your next game. Just log in, make a personal or team store and get the equipment or gear that you need for your next game. The Squad Locker team is here to help your team be better prepared—mentally and physically— with the equipment and gear you need to succeed!