How to Mentally Prepare & Recover from a Game
How does WNBA player Monique Billings prepare for and recuperate after a game mentally? Read her Q&A to find out more. Additionally, you may listen to her episode on the Untangle podcast, in which she discusses her life both on and off the court.
How Can You Mentally Get Ready for & Recover From a Game?
How Do You Prepare Your Mind for a Game?
It feels like getting mentally ready for a fight when playing a game! I approach every situation as though my team and I are at war. I pay close attention to what I put in my body, what I feed my intellect, and what I do to nourish my spirit. The particulars are crucial! I am a creature of habit, thus I seldom ever vary or modify my game day routine!
Have you ever been unprepared psychologically before a game? How does that make you feel?
Being mentally unprepared for a game makes me feel like I’m trying to stay afloat in a rough sea. I tend to overthink things, so if I feel out of balance or out of alignment on game day, it’s probably because I’m worrying too much about how I’m going to do it. On a day when there is a game, I feel out of sorts if I don’t have my quiet time and enter my sacred area. I am out of sync if I don’t consume the appropriate things at the right times.
I am overstimulated if I spend too much time on social media or on my phone. Knowing that I did everything in my power to position myself for success fuels my confidence on game days. When it comes to getting ready for the big game, I’m pretty meticulous!
We are all aware of the significance of both mental and physical recuperation for optimal performance. What exactly does “recovery” mean to you, and why is it crucial?
My to-do list is being rearranged in recovery to prioritize my needs in the areas of my mind, body, and soul. I take ice baths, get massages virtually every other day, do yoga and stretching, and get loads of sleep when I’m concentrating on my physical rehabilitation.
Recovery doesn’t have to be a difficult process; all you have to do is pay attention to your body and give it what it needs. Recovery is essential for me to be an exceptional athlete because it shows my body how much I care for it and how I want it to respond by letting me give my all during competition.
What approach do you believe professional sports are taking to deal with the rising visibility of athletes dealing with mental health issues?
According to a recent study by the American College of Sports Medicine, 35% of top athletes experience mental health issues.
I greatly like how professional sports leagues are becoming more conscious of athletes’ mental health and stress levels. Because things can get murky when you’re head down in the grind, athletes frequently fail to recognize the immense power that comes with using our platforms to share our opinions. Knowing that athletes are being heard more and that people are paying attention to the mental as well as the physical toll is empowering for me as a professional athlete.
How do you think the public discourse on athletes’ mental health has been?
When players use their own strength to address how they are feeling and whatever issues they might be having, in my opinion, mental health for athletes is being handled. The microphone in front of them, also known as their own platforms, has started to be used by athletes to raise awareness of a variety of subjects, problems, and worries related to mental health in the athlete community. In recent years, I’ve noticed that mental health has gotten a lot more attention.
Who should be involved in changing the way mental health and recovery are currently handled?
I believe that finding common ground and understanding will require a collaborative effort from team organizations, medical professionals, therapists, and players. This might make things better than they are now. No problem has an overnight fix, and no one person can change what has already been established. But a strong group of powerful people could undoubtedly improve the status quo if they collaborated as a team.
Mindfulness & Performance
You are a fervent proponent of mindfulness, which is precisely why we adore working with you. Why does that cause matter to you?
Because I didn’t know who I was outside of what I do for a very long time, mindfulness is really essential to me. I had to learn to appreciate and be cognizant of my talents and riches outside of my line of work and my level of success and influence. The simplicity of your essence is mindfulness. Being conscious of the fact that who I am on the inside shines more brightly than anything I could possibly project outside. Every day, I find my grounding in my awareness. I’m enthusiastic about this because I want everyone to know what it’s like to recognize their worth and possess an exceptional level of self-love.
On the Untangle Podcast, you may hear Monique’s own account of the development, self-care, and finding balance.
Monique discusses her experiences growing up in a stable home, her meditation regimen, her dedication to self-care, and her healthy habits. She possesses a remarkable internal compass and the capacity to trust her instincts, intuition, and spirit.
Do you or your close friends practice meditation? What reaction do they have to your meditation routine?
Although I don’t know many teammates or friends that meditate in the traditional sense, I do believe that they manage to enter a state of flow. I use meditation to get in the zone, which is why it has been so helpful to me on my path to awareness. My teammates and friends admire the way I meditate. I’d even say they respect it. They are aware of the discipline required to regularly go within and set aside time to care for themselves.
Are athletes receiving the advantages of meditation, in your opinion? If not, why not?
I think that athletes are only now starting to reap the benefits of meditation. As athletes, we frequently receive instruction on how to strengthen our muscles but never on how to strengthen our minds. This is something that has recently changed. Athletes are discovering how nourishing it may be to remain still for a while without being stimulated. I believe that peace is a major need for athletes nowadays, and since it is believed that meditation contributes to one’s sense of serenity, athletes are more likely to give it a try.
How does meditation fit into your training?
I use visualization to include meditation in my workout. When I close my eyes, I visualize myself on the court and in a variety of situations before they actually happen. Before things actually happen, I want to experience the big moments that could occur. I imagine positive things happening while I’m practicing or playing a game when I meditate.
Watch the Guided Meditation Performance Collection on Muse!
The guided meditations in this collection on performance are made to give you several methods for raising performance in a variety of contexts, including work, school, sports, and daily life. There’s no need to sit quietly in your home or office with this collection, which makes it special. These can be heard right before a certain situation or incident.
How might meditation assist those who deal with similar problems—such as finding motivation or maintaining that motivation—achieve their goals even though they aren’t exceptional athletes? Can you provide a personal example?
Because it requires so much discipline, meditation is the ideal technique to practice maintaining your motivation to achieve your goals. Setting aside time for meditation and entering a state of meditation are difficult activities that require a lot of obedience and resolve to do. The secret to achieving goals is consistency, which is why developing a regular meditation routine is crucial.
How can you keep yourself motivated to practice and form healthy habits like meditation?
My desire to be the best version of myself every day fuels my motivation. I’m aware of and feel that I have so much unrealized potential; I want to realize it! This serves as my inspiration to continue practicing mindfulness and meditation. I use it to reflect on who I want to be and who I am becoming. I find motivation by looking back and reflecting on how far I’ve gone and what a wonderful place I’ve put myself. Since nothing about getting here has been simple, I am driven to maintain my position.
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned about yourself as an athlete in the three years that you’ve been meditating?
The main lesson I’ve taken away from my meditation journey is that there are various techniques that can be used. I’ve started to think of meditation as a practice in and of itself, just way I do basketball. Every day will not feel or be exactly like the one before it. Not every meditation session will be this life-changing occasion that launches me into an amazing day.
Sometimes I don’t feel like meditating at all, so rather than force myself to do it, I’ll find another way to meditate that day or, if that’s what I need, just take a break. I’ve discovered a variety of ways to meditate, including as I wash my hair, prepare meals, take walks without my phone, and so much more. These unconventional techniques for meditation help me achieve the degree of mindfulness I’m aiming for in my meditation practices.
If you want to read more meditation information, the links below here belong to you:
Deeply Breathing: How it reduces your stress