Imagine you’re walking into your locker room on game day. You might have your headphones on vibin’ to some Drake, Lil Wayne or whatever pump up music you’re feeling that day. As you stroll in, you imagine you’re in a movie with your own soundtrack blasting in your ears, and you see your teammates gearing up and bumping their heads to their own playlist. You feel shivers creep up your spine when Eminem’s “For the Moment” comes on, and you have to keep yourself from rapping out loud (or if you’re like me you belt it anyways cause this is your one shot, one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted…). Sliders on my thighs, socks on my calves, cleats on my feet; let’s go.
Then coach yells from the other side of the room, “Pregame talk, 2 minutes.” You rip a piece of purple pre-wrap off the roll and tighten it, so it fits your head precisely the way you want. Then the headphones come off. It’s not until that moment that you realize your whole team has been sitting in “silence” for the past 10-15 minutes. Everyone has been in their own little world. It’s not a bad thing. Everyone has their own way of getting ready and pumped up, but this is a team game. Shouldn’t we be getting ready as a team?
After playing 3 years of college soccer, I’ve noticed that the atmosphere tends to change from game to game. Obviously, this is natural since every game is against a different opponent and there are different circumstances. But that doesn’t mean one is less or more important than another.
Athletes play sports to have fun, but in college we play sports to win (it’s not usually fun unless you win anyways). In my opinion, everyone should walk out of that tunnel fired up and knowing that their teammates are mentally, physically and emotionally on the same page as them.
One way to make sure everyone is on the same page is to get rid of headphones in the locker room. Don’t get me wrong, I respect everyone’s pregame rituals and superstitions, but once you open that door to the locker room, it’s not about you anymore. It’s about the team, and you need to prepare yourselves to battle together. Whether that means bumping music on a speaker or just talking to each other, I think everyone should be on the same mental wavelength because ultimately that will translate to success on the field.
Photo taken from sportsfitnessnetwork.com
* Originally published on August 3, 2016, by 2aDays Staff