6 Tips For Getting Psyched Up Before A Big Game

We are always anxious when looking forward to a big game. How a person prepares themselves determines the overall performance. A big game marks an important milestone in the life of any athlete. Good performance will always carry exciting rewards, such as new signings to bigger leagues or exciting endorsements. 

Psyching up oneself should not be a complicated exercise, though it is crucial to psyche oneself:

  • Creating an appropriate routine for the day
  • Adopting positive self-talk 
  • Selecting inspirational music
  • Interacting with the role model 
  • Keeping active before the game begins 
  • Visualizing success 

This article will look at six tips on how athletes should psyche themselves before a big game. 

Finding An Appropriate Routine

Identify an exercise that can motivate you, calm you, or provide you with the direct intended focus to make you perform excellently before a game. Pre-game routines are like rituals performed before a game, and they help one achieve the right mindset.

Some of these routines can be walking around a pitch, taking an energy drink in the same manner before each game, or even reading a book. 

Another interesting ritual is to gamble, for example before a match, go to a new online casino and spend some time there. This increases the emotional lift and increases the level of the hormone.

Athletes are also encouraged to create team rituals, which helps create a positive team culture to improve team performance. 

Adopting A Positive Self-talk 

A negative mind is the genesis of failure. Avoid a mind telling you that you are likely to fail or lose a game. Instead, adopt words and phrases such as I can make it, I’m well prepared for the game, we can do this, and so on. In the process, you start visualizing your success. 

Team players can also encourage themselves and remove negative attitudes from fellow teammates. Having a positive mindset reduces fear and anxiety in a player. It also increases the confidence of a player. 

Players are encouraged not to consider themselves inferior compared to their opponents. Overconfidence may, however, be risky, and players should not look down upon their opponents. Every player has unique potential and should be given an opportunity to show it by being given a chance to play.

Well, coaches are often hesitant to bring in new players at the start of the game, and for a good reason. As a new player, it’s important to understand you have to prove yourself so have a positive mindset and remain focussed on joining the main team.

Creating A Therapeutic Music Playlist 

If you tend to be nervous before a game, why don’t you try listening to music you love. You can take a short walk while listening to your mp3 player from your headphones. Loud music is discouraged, as it may cause a headache or make you lose your focus. 

Soothing and calm music is the best to calm your nerves. This relieves your anxiety because the therapeutic nature of music helps reduce the hormone cortisol level that causes stress before a competition. A good playlist should be able to calm your nerves before the competition. If you aren’t nervous, you can listen to a pump-up music playlist to keep you energized and focused. 

Interacting With A Role Model 

A role model motivates an individual to bring out their best and reminds athletes of the possibilities of what they can achieve in their career. A role model can be a fellow teammate or a special athlete who can look up to and motivate you to be your best. 

It’s also appropriate to try and integrate the skills you observe in your role model and do them in your style. Interacting with a role model you identify increases your chances of performing well in a game. Additionally, having a role model that you know personally is advantageous since you can get advice from them and personalized motivational messages. 

Stay Active before The Game 

It’s a bit risky to let your body stay passive before a game. Try to be as active as possible, making your body and mind match their excitement. Jogging is a helpful exercise to ensure you stay active. You can also sing or drum along to favorite songs together with teammates.

This builds up good confidence and anxiety that the player’s mind is reduced. You are set for success if you add these activities to the positive self-talk mentioned earlier. 

Visualize Success

Before a big game, always see yourself as a winner. Try to imagine the whole crowd applauding you while receiving the success trophy, see yourself smiling and waving to the fans with a success smile, visualize your family giving you a welcoming party back home. This sounds more like fantasy, but fantasy can be realized.


There are numerous ways in which athletes can psyche themselves up before a big game. It’s important to note that these pre-game routines should not be forced on the athlete, but the athlete is supposed to perform them voluntarily to achieve the intended purposes of these activities.

Below is a summary of the tips discussed above: 

  • Find an appropriate routine
  • Adopt a positive self-talk
  • Create a therapeutic music playlist
  • Interact with a role model
  • Stay active before the game
  • Visualize success

It’s also good to note that different players have different abilities, so some of the complex pre-game routines should be done with caution not to negatively affect the players’ performance. Athletes need also not worry about being creative in inventing their own pre-game routines. Once you identify your weak points, it’ll be easier to come up with an activity that will psyche you up. 

By Pablo Mendoza

Pablo Mendoza is an FIH Hockey Academy Educator and the owner of A Hockey World. Contact: pablo@ahockeyworld.net