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Pre-Performance Routines For Athletes: Developing An Effective Routine

16/01/2021 5 MIN. READ Alyssha Bal
16/01/2021 5 MIN. READ Alyssha Bal

Benefits Of Pre-Performance Routines 

While it may sound like something for actors, singers, theatre performers, and professional athletes preparing for competition, pre-performance routines can be a great way to start off your workout. These pre-game routines are a great physical and mental warm up, and can be used to advantage in many sports, such as football, cricket, running and many more. Pre-performance routines help to get you from that everyday mental state into beast mode so that you can slay your workout. It is a means to tune into your zone of optimal functioning because a regular routine narrows your focus by reducing wasted energy on distractions.

Create Your Own Pre-Performance Routine

First, start by reflecting upon your current routine, from when you start getting ready until you are actually working out. The general sequence of events which you follow each time you prepare for your workout is your routine. The idea behind starting a pre-performance routine is to get a mood boost and make the mundane task of preparing for the gym more meaningful.

When you are creating your own pre-performance routine, it is important to set targets so you know exactly what you want to achieve. The goals of a pre-performance routine are simple:

1. Get from that every day mental state into BEAST mode.

2. Build up consistency in reaching your peak performance

3. Focus and Energise the body

    VAAY Warm-Up Routine  

    Our suggested routine has 2 main parts: 

    1. Mind: This is where you think specific and positive thoughts. To get started:Think about a time when you performed your best. How was your mood that day? Try to get your mind into that state.
    2. Body: This is where you physically get your body into the right energy level. It is any physical action that produces either an uplifting or calming effect.

      How To Do The Routine:

      Step 1: Start by applying a pea-sized amount of VAAY Active gel to your arms and legs (also to your desired area if needed)
      Step 2: Massage the gel gently into the skin and take a few seconds to notice the cool and refreshing sensation. 
      Step 3: Calm yourself by consciously standing and not moving for 30 seconds. Think about something positive, like the last time you performed really well. 
      Step 4: We recommend activating your muscles by doing some light yoga, particularly we recommend the Virabhadrasana (veer-ah-bah-DRAHS-anna) pose as an excellent warm-up. You can find a great video for how to get into the Virabhadrasana pose here. Please keep in mind that this pose should be avoided if you had recent injury or inflammation of the ankles, knees, hips or shoulders.

        Benefits Of Virabhadrasana (also known as Warrior Pose) For Warm-Up

        Virabhadrasana strengthens and tones your arms, legs and lower back. The name is derived from the Sanskrit words vira (hero), bhadra, (fair-minded) and asana (pose). This pose is known to boost stamina and improve the balance in the body. This yoga posture also brings courage and peace to the practitioner – perfect for a warm-up.

        Pre-performance Routines Require A Regular Sequence

        The order in which you do things is important and what makes a routine. Also, by repeating the same order, it ensures you don’t forget any steps to your routine and setting mental patterns, so soon enough, it will come as naturally as brushing your teeth.


        You should consult your physician or other health care professional before starting this (or any) fitness program to determine if it is right for your needs. This is particularly true if you have a bone or joint problem that could be made worse by a change in physical activity. If you experience faintness, dizziness, pain or shortness of breath at any time you should stop immediately. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional. 

        Individual Routines

        If you are not able to get into Virabhadrasana pose, you can also try what works best for you. For example, some people like to get pumped by doing some jumping jacks, drinking energy drinks, or even listening to some high-intensity music, whatever works for you. 

        Routines Quiet the Mind & Help You Focus

        Pre-performance routines enhance your performance by refocusing your energy. Once you make a habit out of your pre-performance ritual, going through a series of regular actions that don’t require thought can help reduce the internal “chatter” many people experience. That strong focus can help you push through a workout on a difficult day. By helping to quiet the mind before performances, a pre-performance routine can help athletes achieve a particular emotional state by acting as a trigger.

        How Relaxed Do I Really Need To Be?

        If you are too relaxed before your workout, you may be demotivated to get started. On the other hand, if you are overstressed and overthinking, it may cause anxiety and poor performance. In between these two extremes is the optimal amount of excitement and energy that you need to get warmed up. The goal you want is to get centered right in the optimal stress section. This is where pre-performance routines come in.

        Sports & Superstition

        While having a pre-performance routine may sound a bit superstitious for some, there is truth behind routines or rituals helping athletes be successful. In fact, this is exactly how most pre-game rituals start out. Some athletes have a particular “lucky” pair of socks that they wear before or during a game. Although we may know these are not the true reasons for winning a game, the thought pattern goes that “it can’t hurt'' to do it again next time. This is how rituals are born.

        Research has also shown that athletes who believe a lucky item or a pre-game ritual will help them win actually perform better. A 1986 study found that basket ball players who believed that tugging on their ear before a free throw was lucky, performed better after completing the ritual. For players who didn’t believe the ear tug was lucky, there was no effect on performance. 

        Other Suggestions For Pre-Performance Routines

        Did none of the routines we suggested above interest you? Here’s a few more suggestions we’ve gathered that can have a powerful effect get you pumped: 

        Talk to Yourself: Look in the mirror and give yourself positive affirmations, or just focus on what makes you happy. It can also be in the form of silent internal self-talk. Positive thoughts and help with focus on important things. 

        Picture It: If the idea of talking to yourself in the mirror feels strange, simply close your eyes and imagine your best performance. Visualising the best version of yourself can be a great way to pump yourself and boost your mood. Afterall, the human brain is a powerful thing. 

        Breathing and meditation: You don’t have to be a meditation expert, simply paying attention to your breathing is beneficial and calming. There are so many breathing and meditation techniques that help to quiet the mind and ego. It’s easy to find 2 minute breathing exercises on YouTube and also many mindfulness and meditation apps. This is a great way to focus upon the present & stay calm. 

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