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Topic: WNBA - July 07 2024
Game Day Tips with Alysha Clark

Going into a competition, we want to be locked in, both mentally and physically. To make sure we are stepping into game time feeling calm and confident, it can be helpful to have preparatory routines that ground us and make us feel our best. We got an exclusive interview with VIS Mentor, Las Vegas Aces’ forward, and 3 x WNBA Champion, Alysha Clark, before her matchup against the LA Sparks on Friday. She revealed how she prepares for game day and her tips for creating our own pre competition routine.

By: Chloe Sharp

VIS Creator

Alysha Clark

VIS Mentor

Topic: WNBA

July 07 2024

Image source: John Panganiban

Competition day can come with lots of emotions. Even when all the preparation has been put in, it can be common to feel anxious when game day arrives. This is why pre competition routines are so important. Whether it’s eating a delicious pasta meal, listening to some upbeat tunes, putting on some fun makeup, or a combination of all three, finding comforting and enjoyable routines will help us to show up to our competitions ready to win the day. We spoke with VIS Mentor and 3 x WNBA Champion, Alysha Clark, before her game against the LA Sparks, about what she does to help her feel her best mentally and physically for game day.

The Pre Competition Mindset

Clark shares that a key part of any good pre competition routine is being present. We shouldn’t focus on what happened yesterday or on our last competition, and we shouldn’t worry about what will happen in the future. All we can do is control ourselves now. “My pre competition routines, for me it's nice to have flow so that I know what to expect and how I’m going to feel when I step on the court,” Clark says. “I know that the preparation that I’ve put in is going to help me when I’m out there, and then just being able to be in a present mindset.” If we are having difficulty being present on competition day, we can try meditation techniques like mindfulness to help us. Mindfulness is a great technique to help us be more present on gameday and an excellent option to incorporate into our pre competition routines. 

Alysha Clark’s Game Day Prep

We can often get into a habit of only making sure our bodies are ready to go on game day. But it is equally important to make sure our minds are ready to go too. Clark likes to make sure that when she is gearing up for game day, she incorporates habits that will benefit both her mind and her body. Here are a few of Clark’s pre-competition staples:

  • Hydrate: Clark likes to start hydrating in the days leading up to her competition, with extra emphasis on the night before. We should focus on consuming both water and electrolytes.

  • Sleep: The 3 x WNBA champ is big on her sleep. She aims to get at least 8 hours the night before a competition.

  • Study Opponent: Clark studies film and assesses the tactics and characteristics of her opponent so she’s mentally ready before she even steps on the court. 

  • Pray: Clark prays to get competition ready. This helps her feel grounded and present and gets her in a positive headspace. 

Clark emphasizes, once again, the importance of being present throughout her pre-competition preparation. It’s so important “because the games happen so quickly that you can’t think about what was last time or you know, what’s ahead, you have to be present” Clark shares.  

Tips for Creating Our Own Routine

“Be very mindful, and attentive to how your body feels, how your mind feels on game days, and try to remember what you did. And then just take those little things and make it a habit,” Clark advises. “When you do things that make you feel good that don't seem daunting, I think is when you play the best.” Here are some tips for creating our own routines:

  • Pick things we enjoy doing. As Clark mentioned, doing things that bring us joy before competition and make us feel good, will help us to go into competition with that same energy. 

  • Pick a mix of both physical and mental preparation techniques (e.g. meditation, sleep, journaling, hydration, affirmations, etc.).

  • Experiment! It will take trial and error to find our optimal routine, but once we find what works, we will be ready to tackle game day with full force. 

Clark reminds us of the importance of nurturing our minds and bodies before game day. Routines, such as the one Clark shared with us, give us a sense of familiarity, ease, and joy so we can feel our absolute best when the whistle blows and the game begins.  

Take Action

Need some ideas for creating your own pre competition routine? Check out VIS Articles: 5 Ways to Mentally Prepare for Your Performance and How to Fuel Your Body Before and After Competition, and watch VIS Video, Pre Competition Hydration Tips for inspiration!