Whatever sport you do, whether it’s football, baseball, or trampolining, you will have events or contests that you need to prepare for. No matter what level you are at, these events can make you nervous, can psyche you out, and many people find them very difficult to deal with. No matter how old you are, or what you do, just know that everyone feels this way as well. Everyone prepares for their events in different ways, and no matter if they show it or not, everyone is feeling the same pressure you are. Although everyone prepares and deals with their sports events in different ways, there are some things you can do to calm your nerves and can enable you to get the best out of that day. Read on to find out how you can help deal with your nerves, and give your best performance.
Get Ready the Night Before
Before the big day lay out any equipment you need, and make sure everything is clean, at its best, and ready to use. Making sure you have prepared a good breakfast and any snacks to help fuel your body the day before, and the day of the event too. Being prepared means the day will run much more smoothly, and your head will be in a better space. If you have to get any new clothes or equipment for your event, like Track and field uniforms for example, make sure you have worn them in before you participate in the event. You will already be in a new environment, but familiarising yourself with anything you can do before the event, is always advisable. If you are prepared the night before, this means that everything will run much more smoothly. There is nothing worse than being late because you can’t find your equipment. Little things like this can put you off, so make sure this doesn’t happen to you.
Don’t Over Exercise
No doubt you have trained a lot for this event, but overdoing it is usually far more of a problem than not training enough. Overtraining can cause injuries by overusing muscles and then expecting them to work fully on the day. It is essential, and great to have a good work ethic when it comes to training for your sport, but make sure you don’t train too much. Resting the day before, and reducing the distance you cover, can all help you to give a great performance on the day. Be mindful of your body, and don’t put it through unnecessary stress in the lead up to the event. Make sure relax the day before, take it easy, and get in a positive headspace for the next day. Getting enough sleep is a great idea too!
Sports are a huge activity and use of your time, so you need to be prepared for the toll it can take on you. If you’ve had an injury in the past you’re going to know what to avoid in the future, and your kit is going to be of higher calibre than it was before. However, not a lot compares to the jittery nerves we can feel the night before a big game. If you’re feeling them whilst reading this, or you’ve got the game of the season coming up soon, here’s some tips for you.
Although everyone is different, there a few things you can do help everything to run smoothly the next day. Being prepared, and familiarising yourself with any new equipment you might have is always a good idea. Being well rested, and eating well, will put you in a great mindset to do your best the next day.
Important Things to Include in Your Kit
Your sports kit is the first stop in calming your nerves and getting your thoughts back on track just in time for the big game. Making sure you have everything you need to keep the day smooth and your performance in tip top condition can improve the amount of positive energy you have in storage for running around the field and tackling the other player (as long as you’re in a contact sport that is!).
It might be an idea to read up on how not to design your next sports kit for a few more concise ideas, but some general trends apply here. Obviously the first thing to include is your sports wear, as walking out onto the field just won’t happen without it. Then, it’s absolutely necessary to make sure you have some first aid available to you; after the game or on the way home is where we discover the most cuts and scrapes!
For sports like football or rugby, you’ll probably need a cold pack for bruises, abrasions, and any possible sprains you may have from a fall or particularly bad tackle; these will tide you over before you can get to the hospital. You should also include some plasters just as a base line. Then, pack some sports drinks or protein bars for a bit of extra energy, as you never know when your legs might decide to randomly fail you.
Staying Calm and Collected
Being mentally prepared is one of the best things you can do before a big game, as your mind is what makes you ready to score. Keeping a level head about you is all to do with where you direct your focus. If your head’s in the game, and your thoughts are on your technique and how you can use this energy to your advantage, you’re already doing better than you think.
Make sure you don’t think too far ahead of the current events at hand; focus on what you’re doing in the present and leave tomorrow or a few hours time until then. This allows worry to float away or stay in the background, where it should be, and means you won’t forget anything in a flurry. Remember that all you can do is try your best, and your best is often enough when you know your sport and how to rely on your team around you.
Some Good Breathing Techniques
Breathing right keeps you on the straight and narrow, and clears your head for your focus to be used better. So if you’re just about to run onto the field, and you want to give the performance of a lifetime, try a few of these on for size.
So stress and worry is a part of daily life, but putting it to good use is essential for succeeding. In sports it’s even more important as oxygen needs to flow freely back and forth to the muscles to make them pump as much as they can. Don’t let that idea swarm you however, as we all need to focus on our breathing a little more; it’s meant to be relaxing!
Equal breathing is the number one technique for getting something high energy off with a bang. Breathe in for four and then exhale for 4, all with your nose. It’s as simple as that! If you feel that isn’t enough, you can increase the count to 6 or 8, which settles your system into a better rhythm. You can also focus on your abdominals when it comes to breathing, by placing a hand on your belly and on your chest, and then breathing in with your diaphragm. You should feel the air much deeper in your body than usual!
The big game is great to play when it comes to widening your ability and career prospects. You might even see an agent in the stands!