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TUESDAY TIP: Embrace Pre-Game Jitters

by Pickleball Superstore March 08, 2023

pickleball tournament preparation and pre game jitters on and off the pickleball court

"It's easy to forget when you're an elite athlete that everyone else gets nervous as well. Even the best people in the world, at whatever they do, they're still nervous." - Leisel Jones

Today's Pickleball Tuesday's Tip is for pre-game jitters

For athletes, pre-game jitters can be a normal part of any competition. However, if not managed well, it can negatively affect their performance. Therefore, it is helpful to establish a pre-game routine to conquer that anticipation before an event arrives. 

Here are a few techniques to use:

1. Taking deep breaths and doing light stretches can help relieve tension before an event or game. Fidgeting is a great way to expend excess nervous energy.

2. Visualizing the outcome before it happens can also be beneficial, such as picturing yourself playing well and receiving compliments afterward. 

3. Creating a mantra to repeat during the match utilizes positive mental energy and can replace unnecessary overthinking. For example, women's US female boxer Marlen Esparza chants, "I deserve to win."  Other phrases I've heard on the pickleball court are: "I am the best!", "Let's go!!!!" (saying it loud to very loud).  

4. Remember why you love playing the game. Why did you take up the sport? Why do you show up every week? What do you love about playing the game? 

5. Have a pre-serve routine.  Lea Jansen has a fun little pre-serve pickleball routine that she does by tapping her leg, etc.  Other pickleball players slap or tap their hand against the face of the pickleball paddle.  Some even tap the ball agsint the paddle fast 2 to 3 times before they serve.

These various tools can help you gain confidence leading up to competitions to be better equipped to perform at your best. Additionally, arriving early at venues gives time for warming up while getting accustomed to new surroundings. Finally, remembering that nervousness before competition is normal helps manage anxiety levels. With the right strategies in place, you can rise above those pesky butterflies and unleash your true potential!




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Pickleball Superstore
Pickleball Superstore