Mental preparation is a very broad topic within the arena of sports psychology. The purpose of mental preparation is to create a mindset that lets you consistently perform up to your capabilities and talents in competition.
Mental preparation includes two pain components. The first component begins days (or even weeks) before competition and includes learning the strategies that instill greater mental toughness. For example athletes should begin working on their focus, confidence, composure and other important mental game strategies.
The second component of mental preparation is applying specific pregame routines that help you perform at your best. These routines should incorporate strategies that create the kind of mindset needed right before a competition.
Today, the world‘s top athletes work with sport psychologists to develop a pregame or warm up routine that includes various mental game strategies, such as focus, confidence, trust and creating a game plan.
Pregame routines instill confidence, focus and a success-oriented mindset when the whistle blows. In addition, pregame routines should be customized for each athlete, depending on the sport, individual preferences, whether the athlete is competing at home or away, and after determining what works for each person.
Some components of your pregame routine may include:
- Taking ten minutes before competition to analyze different situations you may face.
- Listening to music that pumps you up and helps you transition into the role of an athlete.
- Reviewing the playbook and visualizing yourself executing each play successfully.
- Checking your equipment and making sure everything fits comfortable.
- Meeting with a teammate or coach to review your game plan.