The Best Pregame Ritual for Success in Any Sport

5 minute read

The Best Pregame Ritual for Success in Any Sport

A strong pregame ritual helps you prepare your body and mind for the intense ups and downs you’re about to experience. If you’re a seasoned athlete, you might already have a pregame ritual or routine. 

There are plenty of complex, superstitious, or weird pregame rituals out there to serve as inspiration, but not all of them include basic steps that can make or break your performance. 

Below, we’ll outline an overall pregame ritual that can help athletes of all kinds feel equipped to dominate the field. Then, we’ll explore some additions that might benefit athletes who play specific sports.

General Pregame Ritual: Recharge, Fire, and Win

No matter which sport or activity you’re gearing up for, the steps in this basic pregame ritual will help you feel prepared and ready to tackle whatever comes your way.

Rest Up

Make sure you get a good night’s sleep the day before your game. When the big day rolls around, consider taking a quick nap before you get ready. This can help you ensure you’re firing on all cylinders and that you’re as rested as possible.

Try to keep your nap short, though, to avoid entering deeper sleep stages that will leave you feeling drowsy. About 30 minutes is a good place to start.

Refresh Yourself with Body Cleaning Products

Put your mind in the right headspace by taking good care of yourself. After all, you are about to put your body through something strenuous and potentially stressful. 

An effective skincare routine for your face and body is an excellent first step. Make sure you’re fresh and clean to project confidence on and off the field.

OffCourt’s All the Way Bundle has all you need to feel prepared and reinvigorated. It features our Deep Cleansing Body Wash, Exfoliating Soap, Body Spray, and Fragrance in matching, luxurious scents. You’ll also get our lightweight Facial Hydrator, which is designed to work with your sweat and keep your skin hydrated for hours. 

We offer some of the best-smelling body wash and hygiene products on the market to help you compete with your best foot forward. 

OffCourt knows body cleaning isn’t the only way to target post-game stink, though. Our aluminum-free spray deodorant will keep you fresh all game long. 

The main benefit of aluminum-free deodorant is that it does not clog sweat-producing pores, allowing you to perspire freely. Instead, it targets bad bacteria and strengthens good bacteria to keep your sweat from smelling while still letting it cool you off as it’s meant to. 

When you get in the habit of using the same products with the same scents, motions, and benefits, you establish a routine that tells your brain it’s game time. And studies show that a solid routine and ritual help reduce anxiety before matches and increase performance.

OffCourt products make it simple to find the best-smelling body washaluminum-free spray deodorantface moisturizer, and anything else you might need to put your game face on. 

Grab a Bite

You are what you eat. If you want to be a winner, you need to fuel like one. 

Make sure you’ve had something substantial to eat before you suit up for game time. A balanced and complete meal that features protein, fiber, and plenty of carbohydrates gives you a quick energy boost that can last for hours.

Turn on a Pregame Mix

Get in the zone by listening to music that helps pump you up or makes you feel unstoppable. Creating a playlist or a mix that you can return to in the future helps establish a routine that can be very powerful.


Take your time when you get ready for a warmup. Do deep stretches, drills, and anything else that helps your body feel prepared to move. 

Warming up can be just as much about your mind as your body, though, so be sure to take a moment to center yourself and remember why you’re here.

Visualize and Get Ready

Some people find it helpful to visualize what they’d like to happen during the game. They see themselves scoring, winning, and doing so with ease. Others might pray or chat with loved ones before a game starts to seal the deal. 

Whatever you decide to do, enter your game with intention and purpose. Let your passion guide you throughout its duration, and take comfort in knowing you did all you could to prepare.

Football and Rugby Pregame Ritual: Stretch, Protect, and Hydrate

If you play football or rugby, you can benefit from the ritual steps listed above, but you might need to take some additional steps to get ready for the sport.

Consider adding ritual features like these to succeed when the time comes.

  • Do a Thorough, Full-Body Stretch: No matter the position you play, you’re about to put your body through the wringer. Stretch muscles across your body to get them ready to work.
  • Bond with Team Members: Sports that rely heavily on teamwork tend to yield success to those who master it. Catch up with teammates, listen to your local marching band, and listen to the energy of fans in the crowd to put your mind in the right space. 
  • Study Plans: Make sure you know your stuff before your feet hit the field. If you have strategic plans to study, do so as you get ready.
  • Take Care During Prep: Pay attention to sore muscles or areas of need as you get ready. Be careful and do what you can to avoid injuries preemptively.
  • Prepare a Pre- and Post-Game Drink: You’ll probably be moving a lot and losing a ton of water during your game. A pre-game drink with electrolytes and energizing ingredients like caffeine can get you pumped up, while a post-game drink that’s rich in the minerals and vitamins you lose from sweat helps bring you back to life.

Softball and Baseball Pregame Ritual: Focus and Prepare

For those who play softball or baseball, getting ready can be about getting into the motion of things as much as anything.

Add steps like these to your pregame ritual to sharpen your senses and prepare your body.

  • Do Targeted Warmups: Make sure that even small, localized muscle groups are ready to perform by doing warmups that target particular areas or ranges of motion.
  • Practice: Toss some practice pitches, do a few rounds of batting, or do whatever else helps you get ready to step into your role on the field.
  • Take a Jog: Raising your heart rate a bit can help energize you, but it also helps your body respond quickly when the time comes.
  • Protect Your Skin: If you’ll be out in direct sunlight for hours at a time, you should always lather up with plenty of SPF. Choose a grade that suits your skin’s needs, and reapply as instructed to keep your skin safe from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Basketball Pregame Ritual: Get Blood Pumping and Raise Energy Levels

Basketball is all about quick movements, quick thinking, and bold actions. Get yourself prepared for these goals and more with the following pregame ritual components.

  • Muscle Warmups: Increase blood flow to your muscles by doing a light warmup or stretches. 
  • Keep Yourself Cool: Tie up your hair if it’s long, and consider popping on a sweatband to wick away excess moisture from your face. 
  • Get in the Zone: The actions that help you feel like you’re “in the zone” can vary, but watching previous game footage or inspiring shots from professional athletes might make it easier to envision yourself on the court later on.
  • Hydrate: Drink plenty of water before, during, and after the game to keep yourself hydrated as you run. 
  • Move Your Feet: Some footwork warmups or exercises can help you practice your dexterity and help you respond promptly when challenges arise on the court.

Final Thoughts

Your pregame ritual can look however you want it to, but it should always promote your safety and well-being above all else. Establishing a ritual that makes you happy and meets your needs helps you stay ahead of the game (literally), score, and win. 

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