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Take It from the Pros: 7 Ways Athletes Prepare for a Big Game

Competitions like those in sports are often intense, and they require willpower, conditioning, and skill. Athletes need training, especially when they’re getting ready for a big game. However, aside from the physical aspects, their preparation also includes other areas, like their mental and psychological condition.

Here are the holistic ways that athletes prepare for a big game.

1. Sufficient Sleep

Sleep is one of the most important daily activities. It allows the body to relax, recharge, and repair the nerves, muscles, and tissues. Lack of sleep can lead to a decline in motor skills, dizziness, disorientation, and even accidents.

Most athletes will say that their secret weapon is a good night’s sleep of at least eight hours the day before the competition. During training, sleep is essential for muscle recovery and endurance, so it shouldn’t be neglected. Training hard without proper rest is like risking injury or muscle tearing.

2. Hygiene

They often hold competitions in hot areas with a lot of people. There is a mix of pressure, anxiety, and excitement. In such cases, the body produces more sweat, which means that one has a high chance of producing body odor. Aside from avoiding having sweaty armpits, hygiene also helps the athlete have a better grip.

Good hygiene means clearing oneself of body impurities from head to toe. To remove any medications or chemical buildups from within the hair shaft, one should get a hair purifying shampoo that deeply cleanses.

Overall, better cleanliness promotes concentration and boosts appearance for press coverage. Pros know that they need to look perfect for the camera.

3. Proper Diet

Nutrition plays a vital role in overall health. Sleep and exercise won’t bring the desired results if there aren’t enough essential nutrients in the system. Athletes have different meal preparation, based on their weight and body goal. Most professionals get nutritionists to help them with their meal plans as far as six months before the competition for optimal performance.

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4. Training and Coaching

For massive races like marathons or triathlons, most athletes get a separate trainer and coach while some sports players have their coach as a trainer. These professionals go hand in hand with the nutritionist to help the athlete transform into the best version of themselves.

Here are the specifics of the roles:

  • The trainer focuses on pushing the body forward with gradually heavier weights or incrementally faster speeds. He deals with the physical aspects.
  • The coach focuses on technique, theory, and mechanical skills. He helps the athlete condition his body to get used to the competition.
  • A professional helps prevent you from overexerting your muscles that might lead to serious injuries. And if this ever happens, they can also provide the proper advice on what to do for you to make a faster recovery.

While most people confuse a trainer for a coach and vice versa, it’s essential to know the distinction in case you’re looking for more advanced instructions. There are also other coach and trainer types, so make sure to research which is best for one’s specific discipline.

5. Concentrate on the Competition

Part of being focused and professional is leaving problems, issues, and family disputes at home. The moment an athlete enters the arena or stadium, those concerns don’t exist. The only important thing to remember is the goal of winning the gold or trophy.

6. Being Positive

Professional athletes think about winning before stepping on the plate. Having a positive mental state allows one to be calm and rational, which helps in attaining goals without compromising emotions. So go ahead, don’t be afraid to visualize that championship gold medal.

7. Focusing on Progress instead of Scores

Expect that fellow competitors have trained, challenged themselves, and worked hard to be in tip-top shape and they can perform better than you can. A strategic pregame mantra is to remind yourself that the score doesn’t matter as long as you’re doing better than you did in your last competition. Focusing more on personal progress creates satisfaction regardless of the outcome. That championship title will only feel like a well-deserved bonus.

The Bottom Line

Professional athletes excel because they put a lot of effort into their preparations, especially before a significant event. The most famous athletes in the world like Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali are known to be perfectionists, and that’s why they show up prepared, confident, and ready to win.

If becoming a pro someday is in the plans, make sure to be completely dedicated to mastering one’s craft. Dreaming bigger means working harder.

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