How do you prepare for a big game – do you have a pregame routine?
“Preparing for a big game is like getting ready for a job interview – you only have one chance to get it right so you better have everything taken care of beforehand. Be prepared for the unexpected and the rest of the game plan is just showing them what you know and who you are. I prepare for a big game the same way I prepare for any other game because no matter what the stakes are the game doesn’t change so my approach to it should’ t either.
My pregame routine starts the night before with a good healthy dinner consisting of a good base of protein and carbs. I make sure I go over my game notes before I head to bed and review them again in the morning. I get to the gym early to make sure that everything is taken care of beforehand. That way I can concentrate on the game only. I check my chair to make sure everything is ready to go, I get my water bottle filled, and I put my extra wheels and tools on the bench just in case they are needed. I try and think of all the “what if’s” that may occur. By having solutions set out before the game begins, when the ball is tossed, I have nothing more to worry about except the next play.
During some light stretching and a bit of shooting I like to chat with my teammates and joke around a bit. I am just trying to get relaxed and comfortable before I have to put my game face on.
As soon as the warm up starts, that is when I have to block out all other distractions, and get into the moment. My intensity starts building, my energy level increases and I get ready to go. I never try and look to the future, but instead I focus on what I have to do to create the next play and make the next basket. I am not one who gets nervous or scared easily, but if I do, I take a few seconds to refocus, take a couple of breaths and get back into it.
I prepare mentally and physically beforehand so that when my name is called to go into the game, I am fully confident that I am ready to give it 110%. When it all comes down to it, I am playing a game that I love so I want to make sure I am ready to enjoy every minute of it.”