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Championship vibes

Athlete Blog

Championship vibes

April 30, 2017

How to get yourself in the right mindset...

In light of last night’s NCAA Division I men’s basketball national championship game, I went through my social media accounts and noticed that there were more posts about how relaxed UNC players looked like and how there weren’t any from Gonzaga (maybe the ones I didn’t see). I thought I’d talk about how to get yourself in the right mindset for a big game, a big meeting or a big presentation.

Lighten up…seriously.

I know a lot of athletes from my days as a competitive athlete who would become very high strung and take things too seriously from time to time. I was an intense guy myself, but it’s important to know that once the game ends, we all go back to the locker room, change out of our uniforms, head back to the dorms and resume with our college lives. You might as well enjoy yourself before and after games. I’m not trying to say don’t take it seriously, but you should focus hard when you hit the field, and ease up on the throttle once you step off. I didn’t know how to slow down for four years straight and it burnt me.

It won’t be your first. It won’t be your last, either.

In life, there will always be many big moments in your life that will define your life trajectory. Don’t freak out. You’ll find yourself in certain situations from time to time. You’ve gotta act like you’ve been there before because you did. So there’s no need to worry too much (unless you didn’t prepare enough)! The root of confidence is work ethic and preparation. If you’ve put in the work and prepared yourself for the next big moment, let your natural skills and instincts take over. More often than not, that’s all you need.

Find a balance.

My mental “make-up” was more intense than usual, so I was aware that I would let myself get carried away. I noticed that when I played well, I had someone who would help me relax. I needed someone to offset me. I had a teammate who I would just goof off with, and I found myself hanging out with him more often during our pre-game routine. He helped me relax, and I helped him get himself in high gear. You’ll need to find someone that you can approach about something and get in the zone with.

Enjoy the moment. Work hard. Play hard. Have fun. There will be more coming up. And you’ve got people by your side.