Pregame Like an Auburn Athlete
Consciously or not, we all prepare mentally for big events. This is even more true for Auburn's athletes.
Before I race in a swim meet, I often put Icy Hot on my body. It sounds crazy, but the cream makes the water feel colder, and I race faster in colder temperatures. Now, does the Icy Hot actually makes the water colder? I couldn’t tell you. But in my mind, it works. And that's what matters.
I spoke to some Auburn athletes and asked them what they do to mentally prepare for competitions. They often spend hours prepping their minds and bodies before competing. Some use personal rituals to get into the zone while others use more conventional techniques. Here are some of their best tips.
Make a Killer Playlist
Whether you like to jam out to rap hits like Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” or other types of intense music, the right workout playlist can take you to the next level! Former Auburn baseball player Josh Anthony listens to music to get in the right mindset. He described his go-to playlist as music that helps him “lock into a killer’s mentality.” The right song can get you ready to nail that last rep — or smash a home run in a game.
Be the Calm Before the Storm
For many athletes, having a clear mind going into a game is essential. With a calm mindset, they can focus without letting their nerves get the best of them. For Auburn football player Chandler Cox, it’s all about relaxing and going into a game with a clean slate — physically and mentally. On the night before a game he’ll get into the Jacuzzi, and on game day, his playlist is peaceful to keep him relaxed and focused.
Manage Your Time and Stay Mindful
Time management is a huge component in prepping for any type of event or competition. Auburn golfer Jovan Rebula’s pre-tournament physical routine is scheduled specifically down to the minute. But before he even leaves for the green, he reads a book that gives him “daily motivational and spiritual messages” he can think about throughout the day.
Believe in Yourself and Stay Focused
If you don’t believe it, you can’t achieve it! Auburn student and bodybuilder Tori Silberbusch thinks it’s all about confidence. According to Silberbusch, it all comes down to believing in yourself and the opportunity for success. Her advice? Stay focused on what you want to achieve. Set goals for yourself, keep them ambitious (but reasonable), and focus on achieving them!
Visualize Your Success
Other athletes use mental tricks to boost their performance. Xavier Coakley, a member of Auburn’s track and field team, visualizes himself in the race and focuses on how he wants to execute. Think positively about your future performance. It may help you improve later.
Focus on the Fun
Sometimes the most important thing is to focus on just having fun! Former Auburn softball player Kaylee Carlson thinks about past successes, and tries to enjoy the experience. Don’t stress too much, and let yourself enjoy the game. If you’re miserable, why are you even competing in the first place?
The next time you’re preparing for a workout, competition, or even an exam, consider trying one of these tricks! Have some of your own? Comment below or let us know on social media @AuburnCampusRec.
Be well, Auburn.
Photography provided by the athletes.