Friday, December 3, 2010

Game Preparation

Dictionary.com provided this definition of the word “prepare”:

[pri-pair] – Verb

To put in proper condition or readiness.

How do you prepare for games?

1) Do you get 7-8 hours of sound sleep the night before a game?

2) Do you review your playbook or read your opponent’s scouting report before you go to sleep?

3) Do you eat a healthy, energy packed breakfast the morning of your game?

4) Do you pack your uniform, shoes, etc. in advance to avoid scrambling at the last minute?

5) Do you “dress for success” on game day to put yourself in a confident state of mind?

6) Do you eat small snacks and drink plenty of water throughout the day?

7) Do you eat an appropriate pre-game meal 3-4 hours before tip-off?

8) Do you meet with your Athletic Trainer if you have any issues or nagging injuries?

9) Do you arrive early to avoid the risk of getting stressed over traffic, bad weather, or a flat tire?

10) Do you visualize playing well before the game begins?

11) Do you know what gets you ready to play (listen to music, find a quiet spot, etc.)?

12) Do you know what gets your teammates ready to play (and allow them to do it)?

13) Do you go through a sufficient pre-game warm-up before you take the court?

14) Do you stay focused during your warm-up once you have taken the court?

15) Do you listen with your eyes and ears when your coach is giving the pre-game speech?

Ultimately, all of these questions lead to this:

Do you wait for the game to start or do you prepare for the game to start?

Here is a visualization technique to help you prepare:

Sit with your eyes closed, in complete silence, for 2-3 minutes and visualize a specific time in your life when you played the best basketball you have ever played. A time you vividly remember when you were in the zone – when every shot you took went in and every pass you made was on the money. Engage every sense. What did the gym look like? Sound like? Smell like? How did you feel? This technique will put you in a confident frame of mind when you take the court. You can do this by yourself, or better yet, do this with your team.

The goal of the DeMatha Basketball coaching staff is simple: To prepare by doing everything possible to give our players the best chance to be successful and win. We take into account every aspect of preparation and don’t believe any detail is too small.

Our pre-game routine is standard. Consistency is a building block to success. Our players head to the locker room to get dressed at halftime of the game before ours. We begin our 10 minute warm-up 40 minutes before tip-off. That leaves 10 minutes for coach to review our match ups, the “keys to winning the game,” and a team prayer. We do our on-court pre-game warm-up for the remaining 20 minutes before tip-off.

Then we put in work.

Here is the 10 minute pre-game warm-up we did, in a hallway, prior to our first game of the 2010-11 season: http://TinyUrl.com/DeMathaPreGameWarmUp

Our preparation paid off as we played very well defensively. We held the 10th ranked team in our area (according to ESPN/Rise) to 4 points in the first quarter! After that, they didn’t have a chance. They were shell shocked.

It all started with proper preparation.

One game down, a whole season to go!

Play hard. Play smart. Play together.

Alan Stein



PS: As I mentioned in a blog last year… I give our players Gummi Bears at half-time. The simple sugars are great for quick energy and the kids love them! Consider it preparation for the second half!

PSS: Please email me at Alan@StrongerTeam.com and let me know if you like the shorter, more frequent blog posts. I value your feedback!

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