Pre-game preparation produces optimal results

AJ Lacuesta -- pre-game rituals for athletes often include music to “pump up.”

Season after season, the athletes of California Baptist University go out and compete against many other teams and come out successful, but how do these athletes ready themselves for the battle?

Before entering into competition, athletes need to make sure they are mentally prepared for every situation.

Almost every athlete has a ritual to get pumped up for a game. Whether they wish to do a chalk dance like Heat forward Lebron James or kiss the head of fellow teammates like French defender Laurent Blac, athletes are always looking for a way to calm their nerves and get ready for the game.

Isolation and listening to music seem to be a popular method among the Lancer athletes.

According to research done at Georgia Southern University, it is proven that music affects motivation and mood levels. In order to get themselves ready

for action, many athletes turn to music with driving beats to put themselves in the correct state of mind.

On competition days, cheerleader Peyton Roman uses this method as well.

“I don’t talk to anybody. I listen to music, usually music that’s in our routine,” she said.

Getting pumped up may also include meditating in order to relax before the game. For some, positive visualization and focusing completely on the game is all that is needed to ready themselves for the competition. This method can relieve anxiety and provide a significant boost in confidence, translates to performance on the court, field, mat or pool.

Baseball player Luke Esquerra said, “While I’m on my way to the game and when I’m getting dressed I listened to music. Then during batting practice and pre-game, I continue to narrow my focus and put myself into situations I am going to be during the game.”

Jelena Dragovic from the women’s volleyball team said, “Well, I love to be on my own, listen to my music, usually some inspiring songs or music from back home. It helps me clear my thoughts, remembering my goals and focus on what I’m supposed to be doing on the court.”

Basketball player Ivan Patterson makes it a point to go through the back door of the gym when he arrives for games. “I go through the back, so I don’t have to walk through and see everyone, just so I can have absolute thoughts on the game.”

Patterson also likes to lighten the mood and joke around with teammates in order to “get the nerves out” before the game. “I quote lines from ‘Grid Iron Gang,’” he said.

According to Sloan Mchann, the softball team finds ways to get pumped up as a team. “Oh we do all kinds of stuff. We always listen to music in the clubhouse when getting ready. We have “game day” hair and ribbons and after warming up we come back to the clubhouse to change into our uniforms.”

After the softball team prays together, they hit a sign that says “1% better today” before taking the field.

Athletes may need some preparation and confidence before each game, but it doesn’t take much to get the CBU athletes enthusiastic and ready on game day. Many of the Lancers are simply motivated to do well in competition.

Dragovic said, “That is all I need to get pumped up. I am just competitive. I always want to win. I never need some special reasons to do my best.”

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