I would say every soccer player who plays soccer does one of these two things before a game: they either pump themselves up or they focus their energy into a calm intensity. Personally, I do more of pumping myself up through music, letting my energy spiral, and watching highlight reels of some of my favorite players. That is not to say that I do not do a couple of rituals to calm myself before a game.
Now one person that I love is Dean Graziosi, I think he is so smart I think he thinks about things a little differently and I like that. Plus the stories are fantastic. Recently I have been reading one of his books, The Underdog Advantage, and something that he talks about in the book is that he is obsessed with constantly trying new things so he can compare and choose the method that allows him to be as effective as possible in whatever task he is doing currently.
When I read that I wanted to do that with my soccer so I have been trying to calm my intensity to see how it compares to pumping myself up.
Now I want to talk about some of the things that I have been doing to calm myself down. I just changed my pre-game ritual a little bit and I’m going to share with you guys what I started to do in my own pre-game ritual.
- I started to meditate before a game. I have meditated a bit in the past and I find a very calming and awakening experience. You can get lots of good messages from your spirit guides mediating and it is also a great time to start visualizing the game ahead in your mind. Meditation quiets the mind and allows you to focus your inner energy.
- Now the next one is as I mentioned above briefly is visualization. I always did visualization even when I pumped myself up because I think it is one if not the most important thing you can do to prepare yourself for a game or practice.
Visualization is something so so important that I have done before but I did it even more and I found it very helpful. It allows you to be a step maybe even more steps ahead of the competition if done right. (Also do this a lot before practice, the better you get at it the better player you will become.) Remember more than half of the game is played in the mind, so make sure to have confidence in it.
- Playing Majong. I find it is a very calming process and the site I play it at is right here. They also have some nice other games like solitaire. So I have done that and I believe it can wake your brain up or sharpen the mind depending on the time of the day you do it. Playing Majong, one of the world's oldest games is really cool when you can do it on the internet – so you can really just focus without distractions and other people.
- Number 4 is one that I like to do even when it is not a game. I like to immerse myself in as much soccer as I can whether it’s reading about the last game from the Premier League, learning about a tactic I haven’t heard about yet, writing an article for one of the various teams in the CPL, or watching Tifo IRL or Tifo Tactics on YouTube. This gets me thinking about soccer in a different way and maybe gives me an idea to try on my next dribble.
- Now number 5 is something that is so crucial for me. Watching player highlight reels I do a lot before a game. I really like Adama Traore and I also love Isco so I watch highlight reels of those two Spaniards is a common pre-game ritual for me. But I also watch other world-class players as well like Kroos, or Jorginho.
- Now, number 6 could be one of the most important on this list and that is getting your head in the right mental state to do well in the game. You need your head right to win your individual battles.
A term that I learned from one of my coaches and one that I like to use is “Priming your space.” That is so important and one thing that I like to do to prime my space is watching inspirational videos. My recommendations are anything, Dean Graziosi, pretty much anything Tony Robbins, this is a great video but just try to find something that speaks to you.
Here's a perfect example:
So that is it those are the 7 things that I do before a game. By no means is the exact perfect way to get ready for a game it all depends on you but some of these tips I hope you will take into your pre-game ritual.
Now if I’m going to continue doing this I liked this experiment a lot but I think I’m going to do a hybrid of pumping myself up and calming my intensity by bringing back some of my other pre-game rituals.
I hope you guys enjoyed this and I will see you guys next time!