Ever wondered how else you could get mentally and physically prepared before a big game? Whether it’s tennis, or basketball or mixed martial arts, athletes try to make it to a point to make sure they have prepared to the best of their time and capabilities. As competition draws closer, players and sportsmen double their efforts on their training. Hours and hours spent on the treadmill, miles of running, hiking, crossfit and eating a balanced diet.
The routine of months of hard work and training can take its toll to a sports person or athlete when getting themselves ready and fit for their competition. Besides the workouts in the gyms, the routine of exercises and the battle plan on getting yourself battle-ready, there are still other ways and fun ways of making yourself 100% for the competition ahead. Here are some of the other methods or means you could incorporate into your preparation:
Please don’t stop the music
It is no secret that famous athletes get deals with big headphone brands because they are seen listening to music before games. Music is widely known to get your blood pumping, increase your energy and develop rhythm within your body. It also help calms minds and change moods.
Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps revealed that he listens to rap and electro dance music or more commonly known as EDM during his stint in the olympics. One of the best golfers of all-time, Tiger Woods mentioned that he enjoys hip hop music before getting on a golf course. There is something in music that helps athletes perform better and we’ll dig in some more.
There is science in listening to music and assist athletes prepare for a sporting competition. It activates the whole brain and sends signals across the whole body. When athletes listen to music, chemicals like serotonin and dopamine are regulated. A study made has seen that cortisol – a stress hormone – reduced when listening to music that we love. (https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/can-music-make-you-a-better-athlete). Music also reaches the motor cortex of the brain which is essential on our hand and eye coordination, helping athletes throw and catch better and work with balance.
Music also can hype one up. It makes you want to move. The rhythm and the positive energy in our preferred genre or music, when matched to an athlete’s heart rate, provides very positive performances. Listening to songs with lyrics also helps athletes with their muscle memory.
Emotion is very powerful. It can drive outcomes of our performances. When it comes to music, we are able easily able to pick up emotion from it even on small excerpts.
Another fun way of preparing for a sporting competition is finding the right gear or clothing. There is more onto it, others look for function, others look for brand, others try to find the technology behind them. Having the gear that matches your body type or may be the best gear that would make you perform better is quite exhilarating.
Different gears for different sports.
Racquet – there’s different sizes like 16×19, 18×20 or the grip size ⅛, ¼ or even. The best ones, especially for the beginners, they need to be easily controlled and lightweight. The challenge is that heavy racquets are hard to swing and carry. Power is a great attribute to have in this sport and finding the best racquet for tennis could be enjoyable.
The best gear for running is ofcourse, the sneakers. But there is more to just finding what’s comfortable and what’s would look best. There is technology in finding the right shoe for running. A few are EVA, which is a flexible copolymer, very light and is made up of ethylene and vinyl acetate. This is added on to shoes because they have the ability to not decompress easily when weight is placed upon it. (https://www.digitaltrends.com/outdoors/running-shoes-technology-explainer/). Shoe companies also consider advanced technology for better support, cushioning, and durability. Other brands also make shoes to perform better in warm conditions. This is done by putting fabric woven with titanium.
This sport requires a lot of gear for athletes to be protected and also move freely and easily. From head to foot, football gears are carefully selected by professional teams. Picking and choosing the right one for you is very satisfying. There’s the helmet, the gloves, the cup, padding, guards and shoes with spikes.
Often overlooked but is now slowly being a staple requirement to have is the compression gear in football. Compression garments are used for various reasons. There are also several types. There’s one for holding the muscles which is really keeping everything tight and limits the vibrations of the muscles to lessen the possible injuries. There’s for padding and comfort. Compression gear offers players additional layer of comfort before putting their armour on their bodies. It allows the athletes to move freely even with the constraints of the additional protective gear. Çompression gear in football preparations also developed the technology to respond better when the temperatures drop. Not only that it can absorb sweat better and prevent the sweat to go into your protective gears, it also helps the muscles to be kept warm during cold weather.
Take time to watch an inspiring sports film
Any Given Sunday starred by award winning actor Al Pacino, is a sports film that inspired a lot of football aspirants. It dove into the world of the sport with the view of a coach, the player and also showed the business side of owning a football team franchise.
Watching films about your chosen sport keeps you motivated and provides stimulus to your brains to continue to pursue your endeavours with the sport. A lot of what’s happening is very similar to what you’re experience and you can easily find common ground with these films. There are also lots of inspiring scenes and lines that you can use to fuel yourself in preparation with your own sporting competition.
You can learn a lot of the terminologies and strategies that you may not have encountered with your current team or coach and apply those things on the field or on the court.
See it happen in your head
Visualize! Visualize yourself running to the finish line. Watch yourself making shot, after shot after shot. Make yourself familiar with the process in your head, wearing your gear, driving then walking in to the stadium. From the starting buzzer to the final buzzer sounding. See yourself winning.
Almost all of the great athletes have done this over and over again before they compete. Everything that your mind perceives, the body will follow. Visualization is a technique to prepare yourself on reacting better when the games starts and helps the nerves go away. It is a very effective way of complimenting all the physical training you’ve endured. It is said that in sports, performance comes from 90% mental and 10% physical. Your mind will control how you execute when the game starts.
Find other ways of preparing yourself for any sporting competition. Break out of the conventional methods of preparation. Not everything is because you’re the most physically gifted. Never rely on what most people are already doing, instead, find another approach to enjoy your chosen sport.