What's your pre-game routine?

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Do you have any special pre-game rituals? A favorite meal? Particular stretches? A favorite tape or radio station? How about superstitions -- do you always get dressed in a certain order? For some reason, I always put my gear on left to right.

-- Ann (ann@sporto.org), January 11, 2000


My pre-game routine usually starts at home with eating some rice and chicken and chugging a bottle of SoBe or Snapple's Rain. Then I listen to the "Eye of the Tiger" until I get sick of it or have to leave. When I'm getting dressed in the locker room I always kiss my lucky hockey "dog tag" type necklace. i also have my dad's initials and friends numbers on my stick for good luck. Ohh, and we usually have to touch Megan's lucky braids before a game because it worked once!!!

-- Jen Varani (jenv_08@yahoo.com), January 11, 2000.

My pre-game (my game right now is road hockey) routine involves many different aspects. All my games are in the morning, once a week, so I usually get up about 2 hours before game time: between 6 and 7 am. Then I make my breakfast - oatmeal, toast, an egg, and banana and yogurt. I usually drink a full glass of a sports drink like gatorade. Then I get dressed and usually walk (in the winter, 35-40 minutes) and bike (in the summer, 10 -15 minutes) to where we play - about 3-4 miles away. When I arrive I put on my shin pads and stretch for 10 -15 minutes. Then I kick some ass!

-- Paul Berry (jpaulberry@hotmail.com), January 11, 2000.

I always drink a lot of water about an hour before the game, and a lot of water after the game. I've been wearing a pair of ankle guards that were made by CCM in Barbados of all places (how would they know what hockey equipment even was?) a million years ago, and I guess they were made pretty well because despite the generous amounts of gaffer tape holding them together, they still work. I've looked for replacements, but they're considered obsolete. I always have a large wad of gum ready to go just before I hit the ice. And I always skate by the other goalie and give him a smile and a nod to sort of say "See ya soon..."

-- Michael (meaford@hotmail.com), January 11, 2000.

Yeah I wake up and take a cold shower, throw my kit in the car then remind my mom she has to drive me to the rink. Then we pile onto the bus ( i play travel hockey) and I take my place at the back next to to goalie. Then I just try and ignore her..she goes really freaky, won't even talk about the game. and I listen to chilled out music. Then I get there 4 hours later and I drink probably too much gatorade, walk around the rink, check out the ice. Then I get kitted up and motivate myself with a phsycho warm up.

-- kim (kim.e@dial.pipex.com), January 12, 2000.

And who says hockey players aren't superstituous!!

My pregame ritual is pretty boring compared to others. Game night is pasta! I try and eat five hours before gametime. No less than four hours. Don't eat tons of pasta, but just enough. I usually take the long noodles and put enough in my hand to around a nickel in diameter, then break them in two before throwing them in the water. Half a cup of sauce.

Since I get off work at 3p PAC, I can usually catch an East Coast NHL game on DirecTV, and then leave. If we play the late game, I'll listen to it, with my eyes shut, but I start to feel an adrenaline rush as it gets closer to time to leave!

Just before leaving, I put a bottle of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine-style Ale in the lettuce crisper. I've learned to hide it so that others don't find the cherished liquid gold, and drink it before I get home. (don't laugh. it happened two weeks in a row back in October).

While dressing, I put my socks on first, then my skates, left foot first, then right. Next comes the shin guards. Again, left first. After pulling the socks up over the shinguards the pants go on, and the rest of the stuff.

Post-game ritual: Immediately after the game, I've got a 20 oz. Gatorade waiting in the lockerroom. Then, after driving home, I turn on the computer, enter the stats from the game, and sip on that Bigfoot, a nice nightcap, or morning refresher, since its usually 2a, if its a late game! I also have a replay of a game playing in the background. (aahhhh....hockey!!!).

-- Robert Marshall (robertjm@hockeyhockeyhockey.com), January 27, 2000.

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