Wearing a pair of ‘lucky undies’ to a major work presentation or 14km fun run might seem like taking things a tad bit too far, but psychologists reckon having a ritual to get you into a winning mindset before a big event, just like athletes do, really can improve your performance and belief in yourself.
Sounds legit enough to give a go.
So, with the W-League grand final this weekend (and no lucky undies in sight), we thought we’d ask grand final teams Melbourne City FC and Sydney FC what they’ll be doing to deal with the pressure of playing in this milestone 10th-year season at Allianz Stadium. Steal their quirky pre-game rituals for yourself (disclaimer: we take no responsibility if your juggling skills don’t go down well in the boardroom).
Juggle the nerves out
“I always make my bed and fold my clothes out in perfect alignment as well as my bag and everything that I need for the game. I also have to juggle the ball at least 50 times before we play possession.” - Chloe Logarzo, Sydney FC midfield
Try this winning combo: spag bol + Spotify
“I have spaghetti bolognese the night before a game, while my pre-match meal consists of Vegemite and avocado on toast. On the way to the match, I always listen to my playlist on Spotify to get me focused ahead of the game.” - Kyah Simon, Melbourne City FC, striker/midfielder
Keep it chill
“I think my only strategy is that I try to keep everything as normal as possible. I usually have pretty good energy levels, so I don’t really like to do anything extra that messes with that. And when you’re out there in a final, the extra motivation comes naturally. If I am feeling the nerves, I like to read a book or study a bit on game day to distract myself until it’s time to start focusing.” - Steph Catley, Melbourne City FC, left back
Wake yourself up with a shower
“I like to not overthink the game so I keep myself busy by spending time with my family or dog, listening to relaxed music or watching highlights of all sports. I have a routine of a healthy breakfast and lots of water throughout the day to hydrate and having a pre-game shower.” - Remy Siemsen, Sydney FC, centre striker/wing
Have a coffee to feel alert
“Whether it’s a final or normal game, my rituals and strategies are the same. Pre-game, I eat peanut butter and jam on toast and I have two coffees throughout the day before my last meal before game time.” - Lydia Williams, Melbourne City, goalkeeper
Get enough rest
“I like to make sure I get a good eight hours of sleep the night before a big game. It's important to make sure you are giving your body enough fuel to perform, so I usually have a big bowl of pasta for dinner and I like to go out to a cafe for a nice breakfast the next morning on game day. I always feel best after having a morning coffee!” - Elizabeth Ralston, Sydney FC, defender