Ever since I started playing sports, one thing I’ve loved has been the pre game warmup. When I played hockey, we’d come onto the ice to ACDC, Metallica and Guns ‘n Roses and go through our warmup drills. I remember how pumped I’d get from doing the same drills before every game. It helped calm the nerves, helped me warm up and helped me get into the right mindset to focus on the game.
The same is true for any sport.
Basketball, volleyball, soccer can all have similar warmups to hockey with loud music and the usual warmup drills.
But what about ultimate? How many teams do you see that don’t really have a warmup? It doesn’t matter if you’re playing a league game, if you’re in the World Championship Final or if you’re just at practice.
Since so much success from sports comes from repetition and muscle memory, it’s important to get your body in the right state before you play a game. For me, I like to start off with some short throws with a partner, then a slow run, some dynamic stretching and 1 or 2 drills. I find that this not only relaxes me but it also helps the team get in the right state of mind. I think it’s important to get a bunch of throws and catches in before the first point. If you’re a puller, make sure to practice some pulls as well. Figure out where the wind is blowing and try enough pulls that you can figure out how you want to pull the disc in a game.
I mentioned above that even in practice it’s important to have a warmup routine – I like this to be similar to our game warmup but a bit different. I think that you should get your mind ready for practice as well so your team will be as focused as possible for the entire practice. However, by having a slightly different warmup for practices & games, I find that your mind & body will know it’s game time because you’ll do your game time warmup routine.
What do you and your team like to do for a pre-game warmup?