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Getting Your Mind Right with ROUTINES.

If you have ever tried to start something new such as reading, or going to the gym, or meditation, you have probably learned that it is much easier to do it EVERY SINGLE DAY if you are able to integrate this new activity into your current routine.


Having activities or tasks scheduled out and planned as part of a routine is something that permeates every aspect of our lives. Think about some of your current routines?


What time you wake up for school or work.

The order you get dressed in.

What time you leave your house.

When you take a break or eat lunch.

When you are done for the day.

When you workout.

What you do to get ready for bed.


These are just a few very obvious ones that are somewhere throughout most of our days. All of us have others that are unique to us, but at the end of the day they are going to be pretty similar to this list in some way or another.


But why is it so much easier this way? Why does a routine play such a big role here?


The reason routines are so effective and help us through our days is, in part, because they give us a sense of comfortability and help us change our mind state to be ready for whatever activity is at hand next.


Comfortability


The more times or repetitions we do something, the less foreign and strange it feels. Meaning that we are much more comfortable completing this task, no matter what it is.


For example: When I first started working out at 14 years old I had a coach teaching me how to properly do a back squat. At the time, this felt so weird and uncomfortable compared to anything I had ever done before. But now, over a decade later, I am 100% comfortable with doing a back squat and I feel strong with it. This is from years and years of practice, repetitions, and gaining familiarity with what used to be a 'foreign' movement.


This same principle applies to any new activity we try to add to our lives. The more times we practice it and learn it, the quicker we will begin to feel comfortable and confident in it.


Mind State Shift


The second thing routines are able to do for us is in helping us change or shift our mind state throughout the day.


Think about it, what is going through your mind when you first roll out of bed in the morning? Now compare that to what is going through your mind during your drive to work about an hour later.


For me, these two times of thought are DRASTICALLY different. This is because by the time I'm getting ready for work, I have gone through an entire morning routine that is unique to me. This helps my mind understand that it's time to wake up and start thinking about what needs to be done today.


This doesn't only happen with this routine though, the same type of thing happens during my routine of driving to the gym listening to music. It helps my mind 'de-focus' from work related things and start to focus on my upcoming workout.


NOW... think about these benefits in relation to sports and getting ready for a game...


When getting ready for a game...


-Wouldn't it help you to be more comfortable?

-Wouldn't it help to get your mind to stop racing and wandering around randomly, but focusing on the game instead?


These are some of the amazing things that a STRONG and EFFECTIVE Pre-Game routine can do for you. I understand that in most sports, there are things that you do as a team to prepare for the game like stretching, warming up, etc. And these all vary depending on the sport.


A great routine won't affect any of these team obligations, it will only enhance these and improve your preparation. Typically, this routine (that is UNIQUE to you) can be completed before any of this even takes place.


This routine will look very different from sport to sport and from athlete to athlete... BUT there are a few things that need to be apart of it in order to get the most of it.


  1. Observe- Watching and taking in content related to your sport to help shift that mind state that we talked about earlier.

  2. Strategize- What is the game plan? Thinking about what your job is and making sure you are prepared to execute it when the time comes.

  3. Visualize- SEEING yourself succeeding within the competition and thinking positive thoughts about your performance before it even happens.

  4. Trust- One final thing to LOCK yourself in. Whether that's a certain song, a phrase you say, or an action you do. Whatever it is, it is what finalizes your routine and puts you in the mind state to go out and compete and dominate.

Now this all looks pretty simple on paper, but trust me... It's much easier said than done.


Developing an effective routine to use Pre-Game can be a long process of trial and error. You may try something that ends up stressing you out more or makes your mind focus on the wrong thing and that is OKAY! The key is experimenting with new and different things until you find what works best for you and puts YOU in the best place possible to go out and HAVE FUN, COMPETE, AND BE THE BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF!


Pre-Game Routines are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Focus Routine Training. We can also develop 'Re-Focus Routines' to be used WITHIN a game, 'Post-Game Routines' to help decompress after competition, 'Full Game Day Routines' that are a lot longer, and many other routines that some of the best athletes in the world use to perform at their very best every time out.


Be on the lookout in the future for more information on these other routines, but in the mean time do a little work on your Pre-Game Routines to hone them in and make sure you are able to perform them flawlessly before every game or competition you have in the future!

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