Getting all fired up really depends on your personality and your sport. Emotions play a critical role when training or playing in the field. Football players get hyped up much differently than golfers and golfers much differently than sprinters etc. These sports represent, as well as others, different ends of the spectrum. For example:
- Football players tend to scream and jump around before a game.
- A golfer is more internalized to focus.
Although excitement feels good and provides a great pump, it also can have an unwanted crashing effect. Being pumped feels great in the beginning but tends to do more harm than good. When hyping yourself up, you are skyrocketing the amplitude of your nervous system, more than it needs. And, probably higher than used to, when you are playing. Therefore, finding the appropriate motivational techniques is important because it needs to maintain your concentration, energy, and keep your razor-focused on the field or in the gym. This is why coaches give more inspirational and motivational pep talks these days.
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Being more physically calm and internally motivated has a better impact and effect on your performance. For example, a sprinter is trying to relax as much as he/she can to save the maximum amount of energy for the explosion of their sprint. He/she has to relax in the blocks. Any screaming and jumping around beforehand can make them jittery and narrow-focused to a false start and can also affect their bullet-like speed because they will be too tense.
So, what’s best, stomping around, screaming and yelling or being as cool as a cucumber?
Being calm and relaxed does not waste energy and will not narrow your focus. Being too hyped can cause jitters and mistakes on the field. However, many players equate the need to be super-hyped in order to play well.
The disadvantages of being too hyped-up cause a player to:
- Crash and fatigue, especially during the game
- Lose focus and concentration can result in diminishing skills during the game
- Lose focus causing many mistakes during play.
- Forget easily, affecting his short-term memory, such as when a play is called in by the coach
Being hyped-up is also physiologically taxing on the body that overstimulates the nervous and endocrine systems, leading to a longer recovery.
Examples of Game Motivational Techniques
Carlin Isles Rugby 7’s Player
Carlin Isles, for example, uses fear to hype himself up. Carlin internalizes and is motivated by fear. It is his past life experiences that created this fear to motivate and drive him to be and do his best. His motivation comes from deep inside.
New Zealand All Blacks Rugby Team
On the other hand, take the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team. They do a ritual dance called the Haka. The Haka is a type of ceremonial Māori dance used in weddings, ceremonies, or team/tribe challenges. Haka’s are usually performed by a team/group/tribe that represents their strength, power, pride, and unity. They perform actions like sticking out their tongue and screaming, stomping their feet, and at the same time slapping their arms, legs, shoulders, and body while chanting loudly using words and noises. The words of a Haka have a powerful meaning that pays tribute to their ancestors and their antiquity. The Haka was used a long time ago to prepare warriors for the battlefield, mentally and physically for war. New Zealand is one of the best teams in rugby today.
Understand that digging deep, getting hyped is not just about getting crazy or screaming. You have to find the point inside that channels, transforms, and ignites your feelings and energy that can be put into action, something that moves you mentally and physically. Therefore, you have to do what works for you and not others.
What’s most important to know is; do your hyped-up techniques and methods improve or diminish your energy, performance, and focus on the field, court, or gym? If you feel tired or losing intensity and motivation during the game, or if your skills are suffering, then maybe find another form of getting pumped that motivates and stirs-up your feelings and emotions differently.
Developing A Mental Trigger
During a self-defense class, I was so close to side-kicking over a 200-pound floor sand punching bag. The instructor came over and said, “Is there a situation that makes you really angry?” I thought for a second and said yes. He said, good. Now, what I want you to do is before you side-kick the bag, think of this situation, then kick. And so, I did exactly what he said, and side kicked the bag and knocked it over with speed and power. He said I don’t teach anger as a means to attack. But, when being attacked, it is justified to augment your power in the nervous system. However, this will help you understand the lesson to understand the approach.
The anger from the past amplified the nervous system to produce more power to knock over the bag. This technique really works. Anger is not a way to approach or advocate performance on the field against another player. So, I want you to understand the lesson to discover or refine your approach in a positive way.