It's Game Time
By Reilly Fawcett (Mallet S.I.D.)
Preparing for a game means everything when it comes to athletes. The mental and physical mindset is crucial in every single sport.
Athletes have their own special way to get in the zone and get prepared for the game whether it’s listening to music, clearing your thoughts, or sitting in complete silence.
As a hockey player, I have a specific warm up schedule that I go through. My mindset doesn’t start the night before, but it starts the first practice every week. I work hard in practice to prepare myself and my teammates for the game. Most nights before a game, I sit in my bed and run through multiple possibilities and situations that could occur in the next game. Thoughts run through my brain until I look at the clock and it’s already 1 am in the morning. My thoughts vary from backchecking, forechecking, passing, scoring, moving my feet, winning battles, communicating, playing with intensity, and most of all, playing with heart.
The next morning I wake up still thinking about my previous thoughts from the night before. It’s game day. I eat a healthy breakfast and pack myself a healthy lunch that will give me energy for the game. During school I can’t help myself from thinking about the game. My foot restlessly tapping, my thoughts drifting off, and my adrenaline causes my heart to pump even faster.
Once I finally get through a whole day of school, I get myself a light snack to tide me over until game time. Once I get to the rink, I socialize with my teammates as we cheer on the Junior Varsity.
During the first period of JV, I tape my stick along with a couple of other girl’s sticks. As the period ends, we gather up everybody to start our warm up. By this time, everybody should have mentally prepared themselves for the game.
Warm ups are extremely important for athletes. It gives us a chance to loosen up our legs and stretch so we don’t come out flat. Most girls listen to upbeat music during our warm ups, but I listen to a variety of country, pop, and calming music. Everybody has their own preference of music.
After our warm up, we all go our separate ways and do our own thing before we have to get dressed. I play a game with the goalies to practice my hand eye coordination. After that, it’s time to get dressed.
As I put on my jersey, I think about who I’m playing for. I’m not playing for myself, my parents, or my grandparents. I’m playing for my teammates and my coaches. I represent the Mirage. I will do everything in my power to never disappoint my teammates and my coaches while wearing number six on my back and Mirage on my front. Putting on that jersey means so much more to me than anyone will ever know.