By Tim Owens
Pumped Up. Hyped. In the Zone. Fired Up.
Athletes may call it many different things, but most of them have a way they motivate themselves before a game, competition, meet, match or whatever the venue. Athletes might have a certain ritual or they may have a soundtrack they play. Whatever it is; the object is to get in the right state of mind.
I personally love the feeling of those two words. Getting ready for it starts the night before by getting plenty of sleep.
On Game Day of a football game, I get healthy meals for the the day and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. I will need all of my energy for the game that evening.
Wherever the game is at whether it’s home or away, there’s a lot of sitting and thinking before the game. As I put on my shoulder pads and jersey, get loose, stretch, and warm up, I am readying my mind before the game. I continue to think “I can do this. We can do this.”
Football is not an easy or nice sport, and you are doing everything humanly possible to protect and advance the ball down field. You are hitting and blocking your opponent. You even may have to hurt your opponent but usually there’s no hard feelings. That’s just the game.
Before each game, the coach gives a motivational speech and then the team comes together without the coaches. We hype each other up and then we pray.
As we walk to our sideline and wait for the National Anthem, we stand united as we wait for the last line of the Star Spangled Banner.
“And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave” rings across the stadium as we the Eagles hold our helmets high in the air and then strap them up for kickoff.
Sometimes no matter how “hyped” one was for a game, disappointment is always possible. It is important to deal with that disappointment because any setbacks can only help athletes and teams grow if they keep the right mindset.
So you missed the shot? You lost the game? Whatever the setback; athletes need to pick themselves up and ready their mind for the next time.
If it was always easy would sports even be fun?
Sometimes you have to pick yourself up off the floor and get your head back in the game. All setbacks are just learning experiences.