Instead of writing about recovering and how frustrating it is, I thought that I would rather write about routines and what gets me going on game days.
I’ve worked out a quite a good routine that I follow. You hear people talk about superstitions and stuff that if they don’t do they don’t perform as well. I don’t think I’m superstitious, but I do have the things that I like to do to get in to the right frame of mind. I don’t think that if I put on my left or right skate first and feel uncomfortable if I do one or the other.
During game days I let myself wake up naturally. No alarms, no nothing. Just get out of bed when I normally would, which is before 0930 for some reason. If an away game, I normally wake up by the alarm so I have enough time to wake up my body and get enough food and fluids on board, because you never know how much time you’ve got at the away rink. Normally after I’ve woken up I do a light stretch and maybe a few push ups or some leg quickness work. Nothing to o strenuous though.
I try to keep myself active through the day but not tire myself out too much. I try to keep my mind off the game for most of the day, to avoid getting nervous or over think things too much. I tend to do things around the house (despite what the wife might say, I do). One thing that I want to avoid doing as much as possible is any chores that would involve leaving the house, like going to town or to a bank or do any shopping. I get wound up at shopping centres or the mall and that just throws everything out the window.
Typically, about three hours before face off, I eat and normally have something pasta based. Once I’ve eaten, I tend to take a half an hour nap or just have a lay down and watch something totally moronic on TV. Scrubs or Two and a Half Men do quite well.
Then it’s time to pack the stuff, make sure that my sticks are taped before heading out to the rink. I make sure I’ve got water on me, and some Lucozade (non fizzy) on me to help me replace any fluid loss during warm up.
Once at the rink, I unpack most my stuff so it’s laid out on my regular seat in the changing room and I change into my pre-ice warm up and get my iPod going. My play list consists of songs that resonate well with me. Mainly with tracks from Hatebreed. For some reason, during the years that I’ve followed that band I find that their songs give me additional strength and really get me going. One song that I listen to before hitting the ice is contradictory to the rest of the play list. The last track I listen to is Coldplay’s Fix You.
My pre-ice warm up is normally with our goalie Pekka, which is a run around the rink and do some running up and down the stairs. It’s a good way to get to the game and chew some shit in my own language and crack a few jokes. After that it’s stretching and get into the changing room and get dressed. It’s all wise cracks and jokes until the coach has his talk with us. After that while the other guys are still chatting away, I try to concentrate and just run through things in my mind and visualise what it’s like playing with my line mates and feel the adrenaline pump up.
Then all that remains is hitting the ice, fully pumped up and ready to give everything for my team to come away with two points.