When you are about to play a game against a really tough team, a team you fear is better than your own team you are scared and nervous of what the outcome will be. The goal in every game is to win, but in high pressure games it is much harder to envision that happening. Because of this it is important that most of the team is able to pump up, motivate, and bring up the energy of the rest of the team or group. In situations like this it is also important that the team is able to take in that positive energy and carry it throughout the match.
Every team and every person is going to get pumped up and motivated by different things. Some teams or individuals work better with constructive criticism and others can’t quite take that and need to be spoken to differently. All teams also calm down or become less nervous in different ways. For some just taking a deep breath and hoping for the best works, but for others they need a lot more visualization and motivation.
When I am faced with talking to a team mate or my entire team before a match of any kind I try and focus on the positives, and what we know we can bring into that match. This is usually saying things like we have to stay positive and have fun, but also do what we came here to do which is play as hard as we can and hopefully win. If we are playing against a team I am familiar with I also try to point out their weaknesses so that my team can keep those in mind and use them to their advantage during the match.
On the other hand when I am being talked to by a team mate or coach before a match I like to be told what to do. I find this very helpful because if I know what is needed from me to beat that team I am going to do everything I can to do just that. During the game, or at breaks in the game I also find it helpful when I am told what I am doing wrong, so that when I go back on the court or field or ice I can try to fix it. Finally I also find it very helpful when my team mates are able to help me stay positive when I begin to get down on myself.
Before important matches it is easy to let the nerves take over and loose sight of what needs to be focused on, but if someone on your team is able to remind you of that before the match that may be the best and most important thing that could be said