How to prepare for the big game

FILE - In this May 13, 2007 file photo, boys participate in 100 meter race during two-day World Athletics Day meet in Bangalore, India. An analysis of studies on 250 million children around the world finds they don't run as fast or as far as their parents did when they were young. Research featured at the American Heart Association's annual conference on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013, showed that on average, children 9 to 17 take 90 seconds longer to run a mile than their counterparts did 30 years ago. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi, File)

Recently when my son was to play his first ever football match, representing his school in the U-12 category, my sportsman husband gave him 3 rules to play with – A; Have Fun, B; Have Fun and C; Have Fun.

My son had no idea what a match is and was neither nervous, not excited; these ‘tips’ probably made him feel that enjoying what he is doing is paramount in life. Great life lesson.

Of course, as he grows up and as he plays more and more matches, the ‘tips’ will change to more serious stuff; and of course, even for the first match, the boy was very sure about ‘playing according to the rules’ and ‘being a team person’.

That brings us to some of the most important points on how to actually prepare for the big game.

  1. Have fun. Yes, it actually IS the most important aspect of your game; it helps you perform your best under pressure. In fact, it is the secret ingredient in staying calm, something that is essential in any game.
  2. Keep your focus in the ‘Now’. Play your game, don’t think about the past failures or even wins. They don’t count at the moment. What does count is how you perceive your game and tackle it presently.
  3. Keep your ‘goals at home. They can be the biggest distraction ever! What you want is not what is going to happen; this is a real game not a virtual one. In the real game, you could get benched for most of the time, your opponent could be formidable etc etc., blocking your ‘goals’. And that is something which you always should take into consideration and get on the field.
Written by: Gandhali Paranjape
Content Head, Khelomore Sports Pvt. Ltd. 

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