Keeping the Nerves Down

Kelsy Pacheco, Staff Writer

Before a game, it’s important to take a chill pill. Don’t worry, and just relax. Being nervous before a big game is natural — even professionals go through this process. Don’t stress, though; there are plenty of ways to keep your cool before a game. You’re not the only one that’s nervous, so don’t worry about it. Some people sweat buckets right before a big game, and others mess up a lot during practice. The important thing to remember is to keep your head in the game and relax.

  • Slap water on your face – It’s simple and easy, and you can do it anywhere. By washing your face, or even just splashing a little bit of water on it, you will instantly be relaxed and ready for the game to come.
  • Talk to close friends – Talking to friends always helps calm you down. They can always get your mind off of something simply by talking to you.
  • Have a laugh – HA, HA, HA, HA! Believe it or not, laughing keeps your nerves down! By laughing, we can easily distract ourselves from whatever is on our minds.
  • Do breathing exercises – BREATH IN… BREATH OUT… Everything is going to be alright. Simply breathing in and out can help you relax a lot.
  • Listen to music – Whatever genre you listen to, whether it’s rap, soul, alternative, or pop, listening to music can calm even the jumpiest people. Listening to music can also get you psyched up and ready to start your game.

“I listen to music right before a big game because it helps me get pumped up and energized,” freshman Laura Stieghorst said.

  • Have a pre-game meal – Having a pre-game meal always helps, not only because it gives you an energy boost, but because it also helps you stay focused.
  • Centering Yourself – For some, sitting alone on the bus or being away from the team for a bit can help a lot. Thinking to yourself can be scary because you may start thinking of different things that could go wrong, and you might start doubting yourself, but the complete opposite is true: it can help you gather all your thoughts, and mentally prepare you for your game.
  • Warm up – warming up is key to any athlete. Warming up helps you control your nerves and focus them on what you’re doing. Whether you’ re kicking a ball around or shooting three pointers, warming up is the best way to keep your nerves down.
  • Keep your mind distracted – It’s good to think about anything but the game, because you’ll just get more nervous, and you’ll start to think about different scenarios that could happen during the game. You don’t want to psych yourself out right when you have the most confidence in yourself.

“When I start running, I stop getting nervous and throughout the day I try to focus on something else,” senior Cole Scanlon said.

  • Drink a lot of water – Staying hydrated is also important. Drinking a lot of water throughout the day can help you a lot during a game. Not only will you not be dehydrated, but you’ll be able to run longer and play harder.
  • Focus on the NOW – Keeping your eye on the ball is key. Before a game, it’s okay to think about other things that aren’t related to it. But during the actual game, you have to keep your mind focused and you can’t be thinking about other things.
  • Pre-game ritual – Everyone has something that they do right before a game. Regardless of whether it’s a practice game or a tournament, doing your pre-game ritual can help calm you down.

“My parents always go to all my games, so right before the game starts I point at them, and it’s comforting knowing that they’re watching and supporting me,” sophomore Lauren Kerzner said.

Some people like to do a silly dance, while others listen to music. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you keep you nerves calm. It’s normal to get nervous, so don’t stress about it. Everyone makes it through, just as long as you have your own way to keep calm. No matter how important your girl/boyfriend might seem at the moment, you gotta get your head in the game!