It’s the day of a big game. Your mind is racing, nerves tingling, you’re just waiting for game time! The way you prepare yourself both mentally and physically the day of and before the game, will determine your mindset and how well you play for the duration of the game.
Physically, you should take care of yourself before the game. Stretching and hydrating are critical to preventing illnesses and injuries. Some players go the extra step of carrying around a gallon of water every Friday to prepare for the matchup. “I carry my jug around so I can stay hydrated throughout the day and so I don’t forget to drink water on game day. It is important to me because Friday nights can be stressful and cramps only add on to that stress, so drinking water throughout the week kind of eliminates that whole aspect of the game. It definitely has an impact on my game, I overall just feel better if I’m hydrated, and it makes me think clearer I believe,” said senior football player, Nathan Mooney.
Mooney’s younger sister, Marissa, takes her time before the game making sure to stretch well. “I stretch before a game so I don’t get hurt. When I stretch, it helps loosen my muscles so I can run faster,” said freshman field hockey player, Marissa Mooney.
Mentally coming in with the right attitude for both you and the team can be a crucial game-changer. Different players and different teams have a variety of ways to get ready for the game. “For me, listening to rap music gets the blood flowing and putting myself in that mindset of putting 100% on the field no matter what. Usually, as a team, we talk about what we’ve been working on at practice and how we can contribute that onto the field, and the strong and weak points the other team has so we know what our job is once the game starts,” said senior soccer player, Olivia Burkhardt.
A lot of athletes give themselves time before a big game to focus and prepare themselves for what’s about to come. “I always think about not stopping throughout the game and to keep my team hyped up. Hard games are fun but you definitely need to be ready before the game,” said senior soccer player, Scott Nilson.