7 Tips for Mentalizing Before a Big Game

The big day of the game is only a few weeks, days or hours away. His hands are sweating and his mind is running at a thousand just thinking about the moment when he takes a step on the field or playing field. He is excited about the long-awaited day and takes advantage of that feeling to train as hard as he can. HOWEVER, you have to be sure that you are effectively focusing all that energy and convinced that it will be your best player version on that important day.

What are the best ways to get psyched for that day?

How can you channel all those nerves and transform them into concentration and precision for that moment?

Here are some science-backed tips on how to make sure you have the best mindset for your next big competition.

(BTW, if you want to read more about the science behind “psyching up” in sports, keep reading until the end of the article.)


How to Get Mentalized Before a Game – 7 Tips



1. Find a Routine

Have you ever seen Lebron James perform his famous chalk-throwing ritual before the game? Or did you know that Curtis Martin reads the Bible to calm down before each game? Or that Rafael Nadal has to walk on the court with a racket on his head, take an energy gel and drink his hydrating drink the same way every time?

Pre-game routines, those that often seem like rituals, can help you achieve the best mindset or attitude before the game. Find something that calms you down, or motivates you or gives you that direct focus that will help you perform your best before the game.

Even if you already have your own rituals, it would also be nice if you had team rituals! Participating in pre-match routines as a team also helps improve performance and create a positive team culture.


2. Visualize success

Imagine taking those free throws, scoring those goals, or taking steps to dodge or dribble through the defensive line can have a significant impact on your actual performance during the match.

A study by professors at the University of Tennessee found that positive visual or imaginary free throw exercises in basketball players performed before the game had a positive impact on the number of free throws made during the game.



3. Listen to someone motivating you

Your coach’s pre-game motivational speeches can be helpful, however you have to be connected and inspired by what he / she says. If you’re not always inspired by your coach’s motivational words, spend a little time watching or listening to popular motivational speeches online from the players or coaches you admire.

As you prepare for the game, watch the video to stay motivated. Imagine that the message is addressed to you , focus on each phrase and message that the person is trying to tell you.



4. Have “internal dialogues” of instruction and positivity

Get rid of phrases like “I’m going to fail” or “I’m going to miss that shot” before starting the game.

Instead, just allow positive, instructive inner words and dialogue in your head. Self-reviewing or self-instructing allows you to review strategies and techniques that will lead to better performance, while ‘self-saying’ positive words will boost your confidence. Both can help you perform better during competition.

If you’re having trouble removing negative phrases or words from your mind, start by having deliberate instructional sessions out loud. Then, when you have a space alone, review the techniques you have practiced several times during the training sessions and repeat them aloud again.

Once you are used to and comfortable with such internal dialogue, say only positive things about your skills and performance again. Include what you see when you visualize yourself succeeding.



5. Stay active

Just before the game or match, some athletes take the risk of letting their bodies go dark. This usually happens when you have to move a bus to a place or if you have been on the sides before entering the field or field.

Keep your body active, so your body and mind will be in tune.

Try drumming your favorite songs, jumps, jogging or walking with a fast beat. Do this in conjunction with the positive and instructional “internal dialogue” methods mentioned above and you are more than ready for the game of your life!



6. Create a playlist

Are you one of those who gets nervous or anxious before the big day of the game or competition? Try listening to some music.

A study carried out by scientists in India revealed that music therapy helped reduce stress before competition, this by measuring the hormone cortisol.

The trick is to put together a playlist that calms your nerves before the game. If you’re having trouble putting one together, try listening to this song , which Mindlab International has shown can reduce stress by up to 65%!

It may be a good idea to have this song at your fingertips if you feel like you have a lot of anxiety or nervous energy. If you’re not nervous, that song can calm you down too much and you’ll end up feeling sleepy!

If you’re not nervous, try a “lively” playlist that has a song you like and that keeps you lively, energetic, and focused.



7. Find a role model

of the athlete that you can be? Is there a player on a team who likes to watch play? Are you trying to integrate into your playing style some of the movements you see in your role model? The role models are a reminder of what you can achieve in your career as an athlete.

Such models help reinforce the belief that you can succeed not only in your current sport but also in the future. In fact, finding a benchmark with which you can identify can significantly influence your sports career.

Remember that finding a role model does not mean that you will become him / her. A role model is someone who inspires you and has qualities you would like to have. However, you should always stay as you are; Find your own style in the field and own it. Such models can motivate you when things get complicated.

Remember, they don’t have to be famous athletes. The advantage that you personally know one of them is that they can receive their advice and can give you personalized motivational messages.



Sports Psychology: How “Mentalizing” Improves Athlete Performance

The concept of “psyching up” implies having the right mindset to perform at an optimal level. In other words, it refers to the power that the mind possesses to help us play in the best way on the field or field. This tells us that when we prepare for a competition, we have to train both our body and our mind.

Believe it or not, there is a significant connection between mental state (thoughts, feelings, and ability to focus) and your performance. There is an entire area of ​​psychology that is dedicated to this which is called “sports psychology.” This field has gained a lot of popularity in recent years because research has shown how important it is to be mentally prepared before a game and to maintain a good mentality throughout the competition.

In fact, there are several studies that show how mental status has a major impact on the success of athletes; up to 85% of athletes can be considered successful or unsuccessful after measuring their mood and personality structure.

Some factors such as: goal setting, visualization, and routines influence athletic performance; And these 3 elements are separate from on-the-field training and have everything to do with getting the right mindset – “mentalizing.”




Becoming the best player on the field or court is not just spending time training and practicing. You also need to pay attention to what is happening to your brain. Adopting the right mindset significantly impacts how well you can perform during important games.

These seven science-backed tips will help you get psyched up before a game. However, remember that everyone has their own routines and rituals that help them feel safe, focused, and focused before a game, and maintain that mindset throughout the competition. If you haven’t found yours yet, start experimenting!

If you’re having trouble being in the right state of mind, approach your coach or teammates and share your concerns. Ask them for advice and how they get psyched before a game. If you feel that your internal challenges go beyond something you can discuss with them, consider talking to a counselor or therapist. A counselor will help you take valuable steps to improve your mental health, resulting in benefits for you on the field and in your personal life.

Are you ready for your big day? It will be the best!


Leave a Comment