Get ready with me: Athlete Edition

Head+Coach%2C+Angel+Shamblin%2C+cheering+on+her+team+after+another+homerun.

Photo By John Ramirez

Head Coach, Angel Shamblin, cheering on her team after another homerun.

Before Brooke Larsen steps out onto the dirt of the softball field, you can find her with her teammates chatting at Starbucks and getting prepared to take on their opposing match-up. Larsen always orders her usual iced caramel macchiato for her pregame drink. 

Larsen, a junior from Sacramento, is one softball player that takes her pregame routine very seriously. She has the same routine which she performs prior to each game she plays in. Step-by-step, she slowly gets in the right mindset to perform her best on the diamond. 

“I always do my makeup first, then my hair, then I get dressed.” Larsen said. 

Upon arriving at the field, the softball players go down to the locker room and get ready for warmups. They follow a routine in which they have been practicing for years.

“We typically have the same warmup routine that we go through as a team,” head coach Angel Shamblin said. “Pitchers have their routines down. Infield and outfield have their routine down. We do the same one no matter if we are home or away.”

If there is downtime during team warmups, you can usually find softball players battling in a lively game of hacky sack.

“It gets pretty intense. We chuck it (the hacky sack ball) at each other and run away screaming,” junior Sarah Mitrano said.

Switching to the other diamond, baseball player Grant Larson, a senior from San Diego, says that pitchers are creatures of habit when it comes to their pregame rituals. The 6-foot-7-inch southpaw has had his own routine down for years. When the headphones are on, his surroundings are tuned out. Larson only focuses on the music and getting in the zone. He prepares his mind and mental game to translate to his physical capabilities out on the field. 

“I like hip hop and rap music during warm ups,” Larson said. “I like to listen to what is going on. If I know I can lock into that, I know I can lock into a game.”

On the road, Larson doesn’t have the usual comfort of hearing his walk-out song play through the speakers upon taking the mound to fire him up. Therefore, when Larson finishes his warmups, the last song he hears on his personal playlist prior to stepping on the field is that year’s walk-out song.

For an athlete, their pregame routine is a crucial part of getting both mentally and physically ready for the game. Pregame rituals are unique to each athlete and are not taken lightly. The pregame transfers to the game, and the game transfers to the outcome.


Matthew Wreden can be reached at [email protected]m or @MattWreden70 on Twitter.