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Why You Need a Pregame Psych Plan

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Coach Fran Davis

A pregame psych plan prepares an athlete’s body, mind, and emotions to be 100 percent in the present moment. The more an athlete is willing to prepare properly, the more that athlete will walk onto the court with total self-confidence, consistency, focus, and concentration.

For elite athletes, the pregame psych plan begins 48 hours before their competition. If they prepare before each match by eating properly, warming up their bodies properly, sleeping enough, visualizing their game plan, having routines, saying their affirmations, and staying calm and relaxed, the easier it will be to get into their zone, which will allow them to play their personal best.

Sleep

An athlete needs six to eight hours of deep sleep. We go through four rapid eye movement (REM) sleep cycles.

Morning of Your Match

As you wake up, visualize perfect performance; see yourself playing exactly the way you want to play that day. After you get up, have an alternating hot and cold shower to wake up your metabolism. First the hot water to loosen your muscles, then the cold water to raise your metabolism and your heart rate, and then go back to hot and get out. Do some yoga stretches on a towel in your room and some core abdominal exercises as you want to get in touch with your body to see how it feels and what else it needs in order for you to reach your peak performance. 

Mind

The last thing at night and first thing in the morning is when you are in a relaxed state, so this is the prime time to visualize. See yourself performing exactly the way you want to play using the game plan and strategies. Do this as you are ready to drift off to sleep at night and first thing when you wake up in the morning. This sends slight muscle contractions or impulses through your body as if you were actually on the court playing.

 The key is to not mentally or emotionally exhausting yourself before your match, so read a book, watch a funny movie, or listen to music. Keep everything natural, and go with the flow of your rituals. Rest with your legs up, and relax and conserve your energy.

 Routines and Rituals

Athletes thrive on consistency and routine. We are creatures of habit and perform best when there are no surprises. In order to obtain optimal performance levels, you need a pre-performance routine.

There are many topics of “Pregame Psych Plan & Visualization” in my book, “Championship Racquetball” in Chapter 9, P.218-223.

 All my athletes from Rocky Carson and Paola Longoria who are presently playing the pro tours, to my junior champions Jordan Cooperrider, Wayne Antone Ingrid Robledo and Mitchell Turner plus legends Jason Mannino and Sudsy Monchik, when they were playing the pro tour, all have/had “Pregame Psych Plan” preparing them to be 100% in the present moment.

Here’s how my Championship Team PROVES that “Pregame Psych Plan” is a critical part of performing at their best:

Rocky Carson & Paola Longoria:

At the International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Championships in Cali, Columbia July 14-24, 2016, Rocky and Paola used their “Pregame Psych Plan” from the the beginning of the tournament starting during pool play and throughout the tournament, all the way into the medal rounds.

They prepared before each match the SAME WAY by eating properly, warming up their bodies properly, sleeping enough, visualizing their game plan, having their specific routines, saying their affirmations, and staying calm and relaxed. Because of all this preparation and pregame psych plan they were able to get into their zone, which allowed them to play their personal best. This culminated with Rocky and Paola winning their 5th World Championship Titles.

Wayne Antone, Jordan Cooperrider, Ingrid Robledo & Mitchell Turner: 

Wayne, Jordan, Ingrid and Mitchell all went to the 2016 USA Racquetball Junior National Championships in Minneapolis, MN and brought home 5 Gold and 1 Silver medals. They used their “Pregame Psych Plan” from the the beginning of the tournament starting with pool play and used them throughout the tournament all the way into the medal rounds.

They prepared before each match the SAME WAY by eating properly, warming up their bodies properly, sleeping enough, visualizing their game plan, having their specific routines, saying their affirmations, and staying calm and relaxed. Because of all this preparation and pregame psych plan they were able to get into their zone, which allowed them to play their personal best. This culminated with crowning Wayne the Boys 18 Singles Champion; Jordan the Girls 18 Singles/Doubles Champion; Ingrid the Girls 1 Singles/Doubles Champion; and Mitchell taking home the Silver in Boys 16 Doubles.

They are at the USOC Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO at the Junior National Team Elite Training Camp the week of July 15-20, 2016 preparing for the Junior World Championships in San Luis Potosi, MX in November 2016.

I am so proud of ALL MY ATHLETES, Rocky, Paola, Wayne, Jordan, Ingrid and Mitchell for achieving their goals of winning the World Championships and who got selected to attend the Junior National Team Elite Training Camp.

Their “Pregame Psych Plans” are yet another required skill set on the road to championship racquetball. ALL of the players I coach, from the professionals led by Rocky and Paola to the amateurs, know just how important it is to be create a “pregame psych plan”. Their records speak for themselves…Rocky and Paola are BOTH 2 of the most decorated athletes in racquetball. Paola finished ranked #1 for the 6th time on the LPRT, 6X US Open Champions, 5X World Champion and 4X Pan American Champion. Rocky finished ranked #2 for the 8th time on the IRT, 5X World Champion, 2X Pan American Champion and US Open Champion.

In the next month, I will continue to build your Championship Racquetball Game one level at a time so you too can be ready to become the champion you always dreamed of becoming, by giving you the tips and tools to make it a reality. Rocky and all my athletes “Championship Racquetball Games” stem from their focus on ALL 3 sides of the triangle working together so they can develop into top competitors. Without a shadow of a doubt, they KNOW just how important it is to do the work. They are living proof it works and their titles substantiate it.

For details on more personalized instruction, a weekend camp, instructional DVD’s and our book, Championship Racquetball) ALL which covers all aspects of the Sports Racquetball Triangle and more, please visit www.FranDavisRacquetball.com. Fran Davis is a 2004 racquetball Hall of Fame inductee; Racquetball Woman of the Year 2009; Coaches #2 men’s International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Pro Player / 1X US Open Champion / 5X and present World Champion, 2X Pan American Champion, Rocky Carson; Coaches #1 Women’s LPRT Pro Player / 6X and present US Open Champion & 5X World Champion, 2X Pan American Champion, Paola Longoria; Coaches Jr. World & National Champions, Jordan Cooperrider, Wayne Antone, Mitchell Turner and Ingrid Robledo; Master Professional Instructor/Coach USAR-IP.