PRESSURE. Many people in life prefer to minimize pressure. Some athletes on the other hand seem to thrive on it. They soak up the feeling that they are being challenged. It is important though to reduce stress before a game. The more we have on our mind the more our focus spans in many different directions. We want to feel loose and relaxed - rather than tight and wound up. What I suggest is having a timeline on game day. Know when to get excited and know the time that you need to relax. Breathing is crucial when you want to relax. Many times when your mind starts to race with thoughts you start to tense up and not breathe. Relate back to being relaxed and remind yourself to breathe and control your thoughts. When you can now control your breathing and thoughts you will be able to control your game and respond to the challenge at hand.