Game face

How do you keep your game face when you’re indescribably angry, or upset, or just… not in it?  Due to circumstances beyond my control, last night I was way off my game.  I was 15 minutes late showing up, which caused me to miss the ENTIRE first of three volleyball games… and when I finally did get there I was FUMING.  The entire car ride to the arena I’d been cussing and yelling, driving like a complete jerk (which in Baltimore City, probably looked relatively normal), and wishing I had just stayed home.  As soon as I stepped on the turf I knew I was done for.  I’m pretty sure my team knew too.  One of my teammates that I’m less friendly with even made a comment after one of my WHACKED out return bumps; “Even God couldn’t have saved that ball!”  C’mon bro… you know I’m off my game tonight… don’t add insult to injury.  Regardless… it was a terrible evening.  The other team was on top of it… completely slaughtered us… I can’t take full blame, however, because of how remarkable the other team was.  I was actually speaking to my coach during the game and we both agreed, that team shouldn’t be playing at the same level we were… They were doing all sorts of craziness that mid-level rec volleyballers should NOT be doing.  Seriously?  Spike in my face?  It’s not that serious… not at mid level recreation.  If you’re in a competitive team trying to win money or a national championship or something, please!!! But this is a fun, SOCIAL club.  You’re going to hurt someone.  

Anyway *steps off soapbox*, my question to you guys… how do you keep your game face when you have something that is bothering you sooooooooo bad?  I was unable to brush off my anger and disappointment that caused me to be late, so much so, that it affected my performance… tremendously.  Any helpful coping mechanisms?  Meditation before hand?  Punch the crap out of the seat in the car before I enter the arena??  Seriously, I’m up for ANY and ALL advice.  I can’t let this happen again.  Because… despite my abysmal performance last night, with the record my team still holds, WE’RE GOING TO THE PLAY OFFS!!! (YAY!)  So, I definitely need to step up my game, if something happens to happen (happens to happen?? lol) again.  I can’t risk playing like I did last night ANY time in the future.  So, any suggestions? Thanks!!

As always, have a happy and healthy day, and thank goodness it’s almost Friday!!!!! 🙂 

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2 thoughts on “Game face

  1. There have been games that I show up to after work in a foul mood or have something that is going on in the personal life that I dealt with before a game. There are a few ways I deal with the stress, anger, sadness, and other emotions that have been on my shoulders and in my mind all day as I have to prepare myself for a game. Preparation for your game face never starts when you get to the field it starts the moment you wake up and things will change throughout the day to mess with your ability to be game ready so you need to hit a reset button and try to make a quick recovery. No matter where I am before a game I know I have to drive somewhere to play my games. Some are a quick 5-10 min drive. Others are 15-30 min. I always make sure that before I start to drive I have let everything out. If I am mad I vent, if I am sad I let it out, and if something else is on my mind I think about it hard for a little. Then I get in my car and aim to change my mood. I have to change that anger into focus and hustle; I have to change the sad to relaxation and calmness, and when I am just down and out of it I need to go blank to find out where I need to be. I start the car and go to my happy songs; the ones that make me feel good about me and about everything.

    1) If I am mad, I vent the issue bothering me, I get in the car, play some music that doesn’t fuel the anger, I find songs that make me happy at the same time release the issue bothering me. Pick a nice fast song I enjoy and sing hard in the car and at lights I rock out with an air guitar. I channel that anger and save it for the game, I focus that anger and turn it into power to hit, hustle to run faster, and imagine it as energy that I have stored inside to release at my command. Leave your issue in the car when you get to your game. Lock it up behind you when you push the button on your key fob to lock up the car. I wouldn’t want you to come to a game of mine and me be in a bad mood and watch me be frustrated the entire time. The most important part about getting your game face ready when you are mad is that you leave it behind and bring the focus and hustle. Be happy with your team. They are your friends (most of them at least) and just be you. Do the normal pre-game banter when you warm up. Game time! When the game spot light is on you harness that energy you stored. Don’t harness it like being mad at the other team and thinking you want to take out your issue on them or you will fail. You will swing too hard, too fast; throw will be off, whatever. Just channel that energy and use it for good… do your thing but do it with intensity! The most important part is leaving the anger behind. You’re surrounded by a team who wants to do well and want you to do well to reach the ultimate goal of winning.

    2) If I am sad, I let it out, I pick myself back up, splash some water on my face, get in the car, and play some music that doesn’t fuel the sadness but continues that “pick myself up process.” Play some happy catchy tunes that will get stuck in your head, sing the song(s) loud and try to bounce around in the car with that new found happy energy (Talk Dirty is a current tune that gets me all bouncy). When you get to your game that sadness should be almost depleted. If you are still feeling a little down then go to your emergency happy song, that song that no matter what gets you happy. Sounds silly but I swear this works. I go right to “Get Lucky” on my phone and it makes me think of you. I have that moment where all I think about is you, your smile, how you make me feel, and feel your presence in the car with me. I take that feeling; I take “you” out of the car with me and take it (you) to the field. I banter with the team while I warm up. I am now calm and relaxed. I have eased myself back into the norm. Game Time! The spotlight is on me again and instead of trying to overly dominate like I would when angry I am better well rounded now and aim for consistency and accuracy. Fundamentals kick in and I just go back and remember all of what I am supposed to and do it right. Keep up the fun with your team, again they are there to do well, want you to do well, and will support you. You are in a good place with your team.

    The end result is you trying to get yourself back in control of your emotions and channeling them for the best results during the game. Trying to take anger to relaxation is hard and taking sadness and morph that to hustle is tough. Don’t waste the energy doing those kinds of transformations with your emotions. You need to level them out to the nearest metal presence that you can where you can take control. Take anger to intensity, sad to calm, and try to get back to you being you. You are with your team now. They did not put the anger or the sadness onto you; you shouldn’t take anything out on them. Same rules apply for the other team. You are with two groups of people playing a game, wanting to have fun, but at the same time compete for a win.

    I know we just had a little spat via text this morning; I put the phone down to type this out, turned on my Buckethead station in my iPad, and got to pushing the letters on my keyboard to write this out. The music put me back in line. The thinking of you made me smile.

    *changes iPad to the song “Get Lucky”*

    Now I just can’t wait to see you again. I know what the ultimate reset button for me is… it’s you. If I’m sad I think of you. If I get mad I think of you. If I get stressed I think of you. No matter what negativity or element that knocks me off my game, I just need to think of you. You make me a better person; you calm me down when I’m high, you pick me up when I’m low. You are my balance. I know that no matter what this world wants to throw at me that I get to put my arms around you and everything is ok. Game face or not… The moment that all became clear to me I can pin point. After the 14k when we sat down to eat after we ran, and when I looked at you and had that overwhelming feeling that I still to this day can’t describe but still try and tell you what it was. That was it! That’s when I knew without the shadow of a doubt that you are the other half of me. Cliché as it may be but you are the Yin to my Yang. I reset when I think of you and know that if I excel, you will smile when I am with you, if I play a game and perform poorly you will still be there for me with a smile only to then make me smile in return. Just like last night but in reverse. You were out of it, didn’t play up to what you know you can be. Regardless of the outcome, I was there with my arms wide open for you to find comfort and after everything, we left each other both wearing a smile knowing that things are ok.

    I love you Stacey,

    Austin

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