Lake Zurich High School Student Media

Bear Facts

Lake Zurich High School Student Media

Bear Facts

Lake Zurich High School Student Media

Bear Facts

A routine for success

Student-athletes discuss pre-game habits
Photo by Lindsey Bitzer
Kendall Flournoy showcases her weekly Jersey Mikes she brings to each track meet. Her routine helps her to compete fueled and focused.

Athletic competitions produce mixed emotions of nervousness and excitement. It is comforting to have a routine or particular habit that one can depend on to ease any stress brought on by the upcoming game, meet, match, etc., according to an article titled “Why Athletes Get Nervous Before Games” by Eli Straw, a writer for the sport psychology organization Success Starts Within.

Positive self-talk is not the only way that athletes get in their competition mindset. LZHS athletes share some of the ways they prepare themselves for their competitions the day prior and the day of.

Morgan Krieter, senior volleyball player, notes that listening to music is part of her pre-game routine because it helps to distract her from any negative thoughts going through her mind.

“The day of [competitions], I listen to music really loudly, all the way to a tournament. If I’m feeling especially anxious, I’ll listen to a podcast so I don’t have to think about what I’m thinking about and I can just listen [to] what they’re saying,” Krieter said. “As soon as I walk into the tournament building, I turn on my Latin pop music … and I feel like I automatically want to dance and be happy because it’s always happy music.”

Besides listening to music, many athletes have their own unique habits or routines that they have picked up over time which have proven to help them compete more confidently according to Kendall Flournoy, junior and track athlete.

Flournoy highlights how doing small habits like “tucking my laces into the front loop of my spikes” while on the track and about to compete helps to “signal to me that I’m ready to run and eliminate the anxiety that I’m going to trip or fall.”

The day before competition is just as important as the day of competition. Preparing for a game, race, or match the day beforehand can alleviate some stress so one does not have to scramble to get all of one’s gear ready the next morning.

“I make sure I eat breakfast and have my bag packed [the night before the meet],” Flournoy said. “[On the day of the meet], I always go off campus to get Jersey Mike’s during my lunch period so I can have it for my meet as well.”

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, people who constantly prepare before an important event are said to have increased confidence and higher success rates at whatever they are preparing for.

“I pack extra shorts and my other jersey just in case. The day before I like to stretch and foam roll because it just makes me feel a little bit better and makes me feel more prepared,” Krieter said.

Although athletes themselves have various habits and routines, there’s always more to learn. Since Scott DeCaprio, health teacher and baseball coach, has experience working with athletes, he is able to explain the importance of routines.

“As a health teacher, I truly believe you have to take care of your body. It all begins with how you eat. It really impacts your energy levels. Getting enough sleep the night before is a must. Proper stretching is a must. Slow yourself down and live in that moment,” DeCaprio said.

Consistency is key when it comes to habits and routine, according to an article titled “The Power of Routines” by Mark Sephton, entreprenuer, mentor, and business coach.

“When you repeat something before a game, you are physically and mentally putting yourself in a position you’ve been in before in order to succeed,” DeCaprio said. “It’s all about making yourself familiar with a situation that allows you to be more comfortable and relaxed.”

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About the Contributor
Lindsey Bitzer
Lindsey Bitzer, Sports Editor
Coming back for her last and third year on the Bear Facts staff, Lindsey continues her role as the Sports Editor. As college approaches, she intends to savor every last minute with her staff and advisor, Mrs. Lungu. Though she wants to pursue some type of art in the future whether that be illustration, writing, etc., she is keeping her options open as there is still so much more to explore.

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