A guide to game day from a soccer player

Ari Werbin-Gradel, Reporter

  1. Get your mindset right: Every night, I do five minutes of meditation. It slows down my life and I feel completely focused, but at the same time, calm and loose. While I meditate, I visualize what I want to happen in my game; I run through plays in my head or moves that I might do during a game. It really helps me because when it comes to the game, I’ve already run through it in my head.
  2. Eat a big breakfast: Eating a big breakfast is crucial for game day.  According to Better Health Channel, breakfast boosts brainpower, energy and nutrients. Not only does it give me energy throughout the day, but it’s also a long time before the game, so I don’t have to worry about throwing up. However, it is important to eat a nutritious breakfast like a smoothie and some eggs or oats. Don’t eat seven pancakes and chocolate syrup.
  3. Stretch: Stretch. A lot. In the morning, I stretch when I get out of bed. During the day, I stay active. I stretch in my seat during class, and before the game, I do both dynamic stretches and static stretches. I use a foam roller before games and a massage gun in the mornings when I wake up.
  4. Eat a light lunch: By lunchtime, the game is coming up. It is important to eat some protein like chicken or eggs, but I want to make sure that I don’t throw up during the game (which I have done during past games), so I limit the amount I eat. I also drink lots of water so I don’t cramp, and have a light lunch to not pass out on an empty stomach either.
  5. Music: Before games, I usually listen to music. If it’s an away game, then I’ll listen to more music because of the bus ride. According to Global Sport Matters, music activates the amygdala, which is the section of the brain that processes emotions to simulate parts of the brain to heighten skills and memory. I use a playlist I found on Spotify that gets me in the zone and hyped for the upcoming game.
  6. Calm your nerves: Usually, I have school on a game day, so I try not to think about the game throughout the day. I focus on my work and other things to distract my mind from thinking of the upcoming game. Right before the game starts, I take some deep breaths, and then, kickoff.