Basketball is a kind of game where you need both mental and physical preparation. You may have spent plenty of time improving techniques and other fundamentals of the game, but if you don’t prepare yourself before the game from all perspectives, then you might not become successful. John Wooden (head basketball coach at the University of California) once said that “failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” The habit you form before a crucial game determines how well you perform. Say if you have an important match tomorrow, then you must need to take some mental and physical preparation so that you can execute all your skills well during the game. Let’s check out ten essential things to do if you have a game tomorrow.
1. Practice makes you perfect
During the practice, if you show up and do the practice session without giving any effort, then you will have less chance of being successful in the game. You need to practice with dedication. If you know all the fundamentals and apply them aggressively during the practice session, then you can perform well in the real game with confidence. Try to execute drills at game speed. So day before the game, you need to practice hard and focus on your basics.
2. Execute game strategy
A capable team coach will spend his time preparing a team so that the team can apply their skills and execute their game plan during the game. Try to memorize and implement those strategies in the game, so that you will be tension free about what you are going to do in the court. Once you have a game strategy on your mind, you can focus on other aspects of the game too.
3. Be a good teammate
A good teammate always tends to help the other team members, and it helps make all the team members a good player. In a tough situation of the game, you may need to take over and give extra effort. Set an example by sharing the ball and get moving. Don’t be selfish. A good teammate never does that. All these positive attributes will help your team win even a tough match.
4. Eat proper food
When you are ready to play, your body might not cooperate if you don’t have enough and the right fuel in your body. As a basketball player, you should always maintain a healthy diet every day, not just the day you have a big game. An athlete should focus on keeping their body fit for the game, and for doing that, you should take healthy foods besides regular exercise. Try to take carbs 2 or 3 hours before the game begins so that your stomach can get time to digest the food and provide calories for energy.
5. Mind mapping
Do some mind-mapping day before the game begins, like how you are going to approach the game, how you can assist the other team members, how you will start, etc. It will help you create a map inside your mind, and you can execute your skills flawlessly in the game.
6. Have enough rest
Some athletes find it difficult to sleep at night before a big game. But if you sleep well then you will be physically and mentally sound, which is very important before a big game and this will help you concentrate well. If you have less sleep, you might not focus well during the game, so go to bed early and try to have a sound sleep.
7. Pack a bag and grab your gear
Pack gym bag with all the essential gear that you will need, this may include your uniform, shoes, knee pad, support pad, water bottle, small towel, etc. This will help you mentally prepared for the game and eliminate distractions from your mind. The day before the game, try to come back early from the exercise session and get your backpack ready before going to bed.
8. Ensure the starting time of the game
Ensure the starting time and location where the game will take place. Don’t wait until the last minute to know where the game will hold. Normally we see that team coach has to hand over the game schedule to all the players, but it is also your responsibility to know where the game is going to play and how you get there.
9. Stop overthinking
Overthinking is the cause of failure. Many players end up with bad performance because of overthinking and minimal confidence. It happens when the players are not mentally prepared for the game and thinking negative issues happened with them, and this occurs even though they have the proper preparation. So stop overthinking.
10. Get Psyched
It is essential to be mentally free before the game. Playing a big match in front of a big crowd wouldn’t be easy sometimes for many players. So before starting the games, do something that can reduce your pre-match stress and release your pressure, for example – you can listen to music, have a gossip with your teammates, etc.
If you do all these to make sure that you are ready, then you are good to go. The game will be a natural part for you if you are mentally and physically fit. Basketball is a game of fun and excitement. So relax and enjoy the game. The hard work will pay you off.