Playing about 30 games a year, the Tyler Junior College men’s basketball program makes sure its players are mentally and physically prepared prior to each game.
Athletic trainers tape and stretch athletes an hour before games to reduce injuries. However, the trainer’s work is much more vital days prior to game according to Wade Johnson, assistant athletic trainer.
“Game days aren’t that tough for us because we just tape the players and stretch them out. But after games, some players that have been injured or sore, attend rehab after their practices to make sure they are healed enough to play the next game,” said Johnson.
As the season progresses pre-game preparation will be important for on-court performance. According to freshman Alton Tanner from Katy, the team dinners prior to each game have had an impact to their overall focus.
“Our team dinners gets all of us focused and on the same page on what we need to do and how to win,” Tanner said. ” It has helped us on how we start out games.”
Unlike majority of the players, Alton prefers not to listen to music before games, but tries to keep his mind at peace in order to eliminate possible distractions on game days.
” I try to stay relaxed. Most guys like to listen to music but I usually don’t,” Tanner said. “Although, I was nervous going into the first couple of games in the conference, I have gotten used to the intensity of the games we play.”
With conference play heating up, and 7 games to be played, athletes may not be physically at their best for each game. Mike Marquis, head basketball coach, is aware that the busy schedule takes a toll on the athletes physically but that’s no excuse for the athletes to not be mentally strong.
“We play in the toughest junior college conference and I know they won’t be physically at our best each game, but I do expect them to be mentally ready,” Marquis said.