Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dealing with the Jitters

Nothing like the feeling of waking up the morning of a game. You go through the entire day in somewhat of a fog, with the game looming in the back of your mind no matter what you do. It's really hard to concentrate on anything else other than the thought of the first sound of rubber slapping against frozen water at 9:00 that evening. All day long, you are jittery, nervous, excited, preoccupied, etc.

Here's what I do to try to deal with those jitters. I'm sure I'm not alone on some of these things.

8:02am - First alarm goes off
8:47am - Finally decide to get out of bed after 10 snooze hits
8:49am - Shower, but don't shave. I never shave on game days
9:01am - Mess around on the internet for a bit, watch some hockey highlights from the night before
9:17am - Grab a quick breakfast, usually eggs and toast, bacon if i'm lucky, OJ and water
9:30am - Go to classes (depending on the day)

12:00pm - Classes end
12:31pm - Lunch. Usually a LOT of carbs and protein, and a TON of water
1:00pm - lay down in bed, watch Yes Dear or The King of Queens, eventually fall asleep for a nap

3:02pm - First alarm goes off
3:32pm - Finally get out of bed after 7 snooze hits
3:33pm - Mess around on the internet again, usually watch some hockey clips or read hockey articles. For me, these days are all about hockey
3:49pm - Do something physical like walk, run, or hit the bike for a few minutes
4:13pm - Look up the opponent on the internet. Player stats, game results, etc.
4:24pm - Quick rinse in the shower

5:00pm - Dinner with the teammates. I generally will eat 2 pieces of pizza, 2 hard boiled eggs, a banana, and a bagel with peanut butter, with a ton of water. I always grab at least 2 more bananas to go, for before and during the game
5:43pm - Relax on my bed while listening to pre-game tunes
6:15pm - Shower. I find that showering helps to relax me on game days. Which is why I do it 3 times before I leave and once more at the rink 30 minutes before warmups.
6:28pm - Get my suit on. Look good, feel good, play good. Also pack what I need for the game
6:43pm - Start walking to my car. I like to be at the rink at least 2 hours before the game to prepare myself.

I have found that this is generally the best way for me to keep myself relaxed on the day of the game. Nevermind the fact that I visualize about 5o different scenarios on the ice in my mind over and over and try to prepare to how I will respond. I try to keep this routine the same almost every game. Those that know me know I am superstitious to a fault.

More tomorrow. Time to rest. Game tomorrow night (Will follow the protocol above).

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