5 Reasons Game Day Excitement Never Gets Old
Game days are the culmination of hard work… over days, weeks, months and even years. Game days are also incredibly fun. So here with this month’s fourth “I Love Training” post, let’s talk about the five things that are great about game day.
- Preparation. I love watching videos and figuring out the puzzle that the opposing teams represent. I enjoy putting together practice plans to prepare for competition. The other puzzle that is fun to solve is my team. What do I need to tell them to make sure they are in the right mindset for the game? Is there a story or anecdote I can tell them to cheer them up/calm them down/show them I believe in them/keep them focused… whatever the situation calls for?
- Following. Okay, so I don’t really wear training suits, but I love that show How I Met Your Mother and Barney says that all the time. As coaches, we don’t have to put on a uniform (except for baseball, for whatever reason), so our game day attire is how we can signal to our brains that it’s time to bring it on. Quirk alert: I wear new jerseys for each of our conference games… I won’t wear an old one. Those tops are severely judged as winners or losers based on the team’s performance. The winners are used in a non-conference competition at a later date…the losers never see the light of the competition again. This confession leads us nicely to the next topic.
- Superstitions. Obviously my tops (although super cute) have no bearing on whether my team wins or loses a game… that little nugget really doesn’t stop me from doing it year after year though! My assistant fist bumps some of the girls before every game. I have no idea how she chooses which players to connect with like that, but if she forgets, they yell at her to come and perform the superstitious act. To add to the craziness, certain players just wanted to fist bump when we were on certain sides of the court. It doesn’t have to make sense, it just has to be consistent.
- Getting nervous. I still get butterflies in my stomach on game day. I’m not talking about crazy things, like when I directed my first game, nerves. But for the healthy, this is not a normal day (but a game day!) of nerves. I worry about things I can’t control (like whether or not my team is properly prepared) as well as things that are completely in my control (like whether I should eat the same lunch I ate when we won the last game). However, everything calms down for me, in…
- …the first whistle. It’s magical, let me tell you! After the warm-up music is turned off, the lineups are announced, and the teams bid each other good luck… it’s time to see if it all worked out. If the preparation was adequate, if my team is winning or losing, if we can respond to the movements that our opponent makes. I love seeing my team execute the game plan and seeing their faces when things are going well and their strength when they’re not.
I’d love for you guys to email me what you like about game day… I’m sure it’s interesting. Then I can put together a post collecting everyone’s thoughts. Just let me know in your email if you mind me using your name.