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5 Things To Do Leading Up To A Game

Updated: Mar 16, 2023

Quick! Game day is here, get in the car and drive to Dennys. First you must avoid drinking water and then order the biggest thing on the menu. Pancakes, hash browns, crepes with extra whipped cream, eggs, bacon, toast, biscuits and gravy, sausage and a large vanilla milkshake, coffee and don't forget to get a coke on your way out!

Sounds good doesn't it? It might, but only if you have been lost at sea and haven't eaten in months. For an athlete, this type of fuel is probably not your best option. Here are a few things to consider leading up to your best performance of the season..

Tip #1 - Sleep

This first tip starts the night before your big game. Put down your phone at least 30 minutes before bed time. Look for 7-9 hours of sleep. Many studies have correlated reaction time being inhibited greatly by getting less than 6 hours of sleep per night.

Along with sleep, develop your morning routine. Routines help stay on track and in a groove to start your day.

Tip #2 - Hydrate

Hydration is key to focusing and lasting a full game. Water itself is not enough, using some added supplements like BioSteel Hydration mix, adding some high quality sea salt will aid in this. Talk to a registered sports nutritionist about your best options.

Tip #3 - Eat for Fuel

When you change the word food for fuel it changes how you assess what you're putting in your body. Potato Chips and French fries is not the fuel your body needs for optimal performance. Protien, carbs and good fats are needed. Do some research on your own like tweaking what you eat before practices and see what works best for you. Again, If you need more information hire a nutrition coach. Every body needs something different.

Tip #4 - Soft Focus to Hard Focus

Soft focus -starts in the morning. This is being aware you have a game later and knowing you must conduct yourself accordingly. Concentration calories and physical calories are to be conserved during this time. You are not so much getting dialled in the same at 9am as you would an hour before puck drop but for example: Get out of bed, move your body. Foam roll, ride the bike. Hydrate. Eat proper fuel. Take a pre game nap if that suits you. Avoid video games or watching too much tv that would strain your eyes and deplete your concentration calories.

For those that are in still in school, do your school work first. Your focus will have to switch to game mode after the bells rings. Be conservative in gym class that you are not over working yourself as energy must be conserved for your performance later.

Hard focus- this is stronger focus closer to puck drop. Some of you may like to be more loose than others or some may not speak to anyone all day. Discover what works for you. This is your time to clear your mind and get dialled in on the task at hand. Get to the rink you are playing in a little earlier than the other players. This is a great time to do your pre game visualizations as you are in the environment that you will play in. Have a pre game warm up routine that you can consistently do game in game out. Whatever works for you and gets you in a good head space before puck drop.

Tip #5 - Visualize

Seeing is believing. Go over video of your last performance you did well. If you don't have video. Visualize it for a few minutes.

Then visulize your upcoming game in great detail. Here are just a few examples:

1) See your opponent, who are you playing? Who is a threat on that team? Do they shoot left or right handed?

2) What arena are you playing in? is the lighting bright? is the glass low? expect everything so you are not surprised by anything.

3) See odd man rushes against, see how you would play them in each scenario

4) Expect turnovers by your teammates, expect power plays against.

5) See yourself making breakaway saves

6) See yourself making glove and blocker saves. Feel how it feels when the pucks hits you.

7) See yourself winning the game and feel what it feels like in the dressing room afterwards

8) Visualize yourself making good passes to your defensemen

9) Picture a 3 on 0

10) Hear the sounds of the game and feels the ice on your skates

Control The Controllable's

Zig Ziglar once said "Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation"

Many things are in our control, are you doing the things necessary for your success? If you would like to dive deeper into each segment, send me a message I am always here to help!

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