Mental Prehab

Same thing as a warm-up

If you want to get into the right mindset, it’s simply not enough to put on headphones and listen to your favorite pump-up music. Before practice or a game, athletes often feel too rushed to practice a true mental warm-up, since coaches don’t actively set aside time for it to happen.

Physical dynamic warm-ups have long played an important role in pre-game routines, because they improve body function and help prevent injury. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a mental warm-up to help an athlete build confidence before the game?

At the youth level, the physical dynamic warm-up is usually led by the head coach, and at the collegiate and professional levels by a strength and conditioning coach. Regardless of who leads the warm-up, the fact that a coach schedules time for the activity, explains its purpose and closely watches over it sends a message to the athletes that it is important to follow the routine to maximize their performance.

We equate the need for a pre-performance mindset routine to the pre-shot routine basketball players go through before taking a foul shot. Both routines help athletes get into a calm, confident, comfortable position from which they can execute their specific fundamentals.