Its as inevitable as the refs whistle: nerves and nervousness before a match. So how do top athletes fight the frightened feelings? Heres what some of the best high school volleyball girls across the country told StudentSports.com
I always listen to "Fighter" by Christina Aguilera. Also, a teammate and I always eat an ice cream cone at lunch every game day. Before the game our team does a cheer called, "Shark Attack." When we are on the floor before the start of every game, I have particular handshakes with certain players in a certain order and I always slap hands with my outside hitter last.
--- Lindsey Kane, Sr, Wahlert High (Dubuque, Iowa)
I can't ever really remember getting nervous before a big match. Most of the time I'm really excited and pumped up for it, but no butterflies or knots in my stomach. I guess I've just never seen sports as something to get nervous about, but rather something to enjoy and make the most of.
--- Cally Stolbach, Sr, Berkeley Prep. School (Tampa Bay, Fla.)
I try to prevent getting nervous before big games by being both mentally and physically prepared ahead of time. Going through all of the tough practices and reviewing many plays assures me that I am well prepared and that there is no reason to be nervous. The only thing left to do is go out there and play with lots of heart. I know that I have done everything I can do to be ready. If I do happen to get a little nervous before a game, it is gone by the time the first serve goes over the net because I know that I am there to win and that is what I am going to do!!
--- Eden Ramos, Sr, Berkeley Prep. School (Tampa Bay, Fla.)
I don't really get nervous before matches, even big ones. I am a really superstitious person and as long as I have my same routine I get excited but not nervous. Before every match I make sure I have my same rubber band, I do the same warm-up with the same partner, use the same water bottle, the same knee pads, and get just as excited and focused every game.
--- Michelle Moriarty, Sr, Stratford (Houston, Texas)
I really dont get nervous anymore; however, before every game our coach has us sit down by ourselves and get in the zone to try and visualize what is going to be happening on the court. That does it for me.
---Nicole Nevitt, Sr, Queen Creek (Queen Creek, Ariz.)
I am always nervous before any match no matter who we are playing. So on the way over to the gym, I listen to Justin Timberlake I Just Want to Love You. I listened to that song before every game so far, and that seems to be the cure!
--- Kelsey Johnson, Sr, Durango (Las Vegas, Nev.)