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Mentally Preparing For Competition: Pre-Game Routines

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Dan Gould, a PCA National Advisory Board Member and Director of Michigan State’s Institute for the Study of Youth Sports, is renowned for his work in sport psychology and mental training for athletic competition. He conducts research on the psychological foundations of coaching and has consulted for the U.S. Olympic Committee, the U.S. Tennis Association, and athletes of all ages and skill levels.

In this video, Gould shares why consistency is the most crucial part of a pre-game routine. Because each athlete is unique, they may all use different techniques, but research shows the positive effects of consistency within a given athlete's pre-competition mental preparation. After athletes have truly mastered how to train and are learning to perform, they should come up with a pre-game preparation routine and stick with that routine. When athletes deviate from their routine, they typically perform worse.