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Game day – what to do?

Female sprinter training for race competition

Competition time rings plenty of alarms in our heads. Anxiety, sweaty palms, and a lot of thinking start kicking in. Keeping a chill mindset is far from easy at those times. There’s a huge game coming up and you just have to prove yourself, right?

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Once you realize you’re in the middle of a ‘calm before the storm’ bad thought spirals come from all sides. Sometimes we get such ridiculous ideas when we’re under a lot of stress. It is somewhat redundant to say that not everything that comes to your mind is smart and even more to say that you shouldn’t do any of those things that occur. However, once we have a clear mind we can sort out some coping mechanisms which will come in handy once we’re in the same scenario again.

Today, we want to go over some of these. We will mention some useful tips and guides you can implement yourself once you’re faced with an immense obstacle that simply won’t let you rest. Some people call it “performance anxiety”, others call it “stage fright”, but given the nature of what we do, we decided to call it “game day”.

Let’s go over some ideas worth trying out when it’s make or break time. Having a game day is a scenario each and every one of us has to face if we want to achieve our goals.

No funny business

Don’t go trying out new stuff right before a big game. Just don’t. The smartest thing to do before you’ve got something big coming up is to just stick to the same old routine in terms of your preparation, workouts, stretching, etc.

Switching things up in the last second won’t change things significantly enough for you to go and try them out. One new exercise or drill won’t teach you anything at this point. Imagine making a mistake that costs you an injury. How unlucky would that be? The funny thing is, a lot of injuries happen in this exact way.

The risk versus reward ratio is not in your favor by any means. You did what you could and now it’s time to have some patience. You’ll have plenty of assessment time after you finish the match. So remember, leave out the experiments before your big day.

Trust in yourself and the work you’ve put in. Having confidence is an important part of your performance.

Be mindful with your food

Nutrition is quintessential for success every single day and game day is not much different. With that being said there are a couple of no-no’s we will address. Overall, the food you eat should stay the same, given that you have a healthy diet going on in the first place. But there are a few trifles to keep on the horizon.

Let’s start with water. You absolutely have to stay hydrated on your important day. No matter what sport you practice it will be necessary to intake plenty of water throughout the day. Don’t let this rookie mistake mess your game up. The last thing you want right before a match or a game is a bad case of cramps, dizziness, or something worse.

Also, you might want to consider inviting some sugar to the nutritional party too. The additional sugar may come in handy, especially if you’re losing a lot of energy or feel weak. Whether it’s before or during your match. Grabbing a sports drink is useful in these times. Watch out not to drink too much or it might cost you a trip to the toilet.

Another thing worth pointing out is that you don’t want to eat too much right before a game. Seems obvious but we just have to put it out there. A full stomach means less focus on the game and that is not what you want if you’re looking to bring your A-game to the table. Consider eating a bit less than you otherwise would. This way you’ll make sure not to go overboard with your dish.

Get some rest

This point simply cannot be stressed enough. Sleeping or taking it easy before your game is very simple yet extremely effective. This is one of the best things to do when you want some insurance for your success. Proper rest before an important task is probably the best thing you can do to assure the best possible outcome whether it’s an upcoming exam, competition, or something else.

If you can’t sleep you can at least read something or just have some chill time.

Try to go to bed on time the day before. Take a day off, both physically and mentally, if you can. The idea is to save as much energy as you can so you can use that energy later.

Visualize yourself

Your mind will probably be occupied right before your big day. Even though it’s extremely annoying, that’s very usual and there isn’t a hack you can pull of to make the thoughts go away or stop. Rather, you can swerve the current of your thoughts a little bit towards what you find desirable. Try to think of what you want rather than what you don’t want happening.

Try to visualize what you wish to see once you’re out there on the court. Whether it’s scoring a three-pointer, beating your best time, or scoring a goal, you have to think of the things you wish to come true. This will prepare you mentally for what is to come. Sounds a bit zealous or pretentious, but it’s a good strategy that will keep your doubts away.


To top it off let’s make a brief recap. Remember to focus on these: nutrition, rest, and positive thinking. Keep your diet intact, stay hydrated at all times, and give yourself some rest. Other than that, there isn’t so much that you can do. The rest is built over months or even years of hard work.

There you have it, folks! We hope you’ve gained some interesting and useful insight from this article. As always, thank you for reading.

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