ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: How To Prepare For A Game The Night Before

Beneficial ways to get ready for a game 24 hours before it even begins.

A new school year is the beginning of many things, including the start of tight sports schedules. With homework and other commitments, it can be hard to properly prepare for a game on a school night. By being productive, preparation will be less stressful for all athletes.

“I normally take a nice relaxing bath just to calm down,” senior Deighton Butenschoen said. “Then I would wake up early if I had extra homework.”

Being a student is a top priority for many athletes so completing homework is very important. Whether homework is finished before bed or right after practice, the key to completion is to stay focused; however, if it is late at night many students also choose to go to bed and do homework when they are energized in the morning.

“I usually do my homework before practices and games if I have time, because I’m usually tired after games,” sophomore Delaney Scott said. “On occasion, when I don’t finish my homework before a game, I wake up early.”

After completing homework, physically preparing for a game can be beneficial for lots of athletes. For example rolling out the night before will loosen muscles and get rid of any knots; it is helpful to do this because rolling out decreases the chance of injury and will increase the speed of recovery.

According to ESPN, when athletes don’t have a routine to prepare themselves mentally, they start packing their backpack of emotions, often without even realizing it. Their mind wanders, fear and worry about the outcome mount and unproductive thoughts circle in their heads.

Being relaxed mentally is also a major key to preparation for a game. When athletes are overtired or extremely stressed they can begin to play using their emotions. Taking a bath or doing yoga can positively contribute to an athlete’s mental game and can help with reduction in anxiety. Many athletes also listen to music because it gets them in the zone for their event. Whether they’re golfing or playing basketball, listening to the right music can prepare athletes for their game.

“I normally listen to screamo, I listen to Destroy Everything by Hatebreed because it really pumps me up and gets my adrenaline going,” Butenschoen said.

Getting ready for a game can start from anywhere between a week in advance to 30 minutes before the first quarter. It’s important to enjoy the sport and be safe when playing. No matter how early preparation begins, the goal for most athletes is to have fun and win.

“I worry about sports but I also know that it’s just a game and I do it for fun,” Scott said.

Playing sports in high school can be a lot to handle for many students, and being an athlete can change many people’s high school experience. With the pressure of maintaining good grades, enjoying athletics can be cut short with shortened sleep schedules. Following these quick tips will make preparing for a sports event the night before beneficial for athletes.