Unlocking the Secrets: Patrick Mahomes shares his pre-game rituals and techniques for conquering nerves

Even Superstars Get Nervous: How Patrick Mahomes Handles Pre-Game Jitters

Patrick Mahomes has taken the NFL by storm since becoming the Kansas City Chiefs’ starting quarterback in 2018. In just four seasons as a starter, he has already amassed an MVP award, a Super Bowl MVP, and numerous other accolades. His combination of elite arm talent, athleticism, and clutch playmaking ability has cemented him as one of the best quarterbacks in the league.

However, despite all his on-field success and superstar status, Mahomes is still human. Like any other competitor, he experiences nerves and pressure before big games. The spotlight and expectations that come with being a star QB in the NFL can weigh heavy. But Mahomes has developed effective methods for managing his pre-game jitters so they don’t negatively impact his performance.

Channeling Nerves Into Excitement

One of Mahomes’ primary strategies is viewing his nerves in a positive light. Instead of trying to eliminate them completely, he chooses to channel that nervous energy into excitement and focus.

In interviews, Mahomes has openly acknowledged feeling butterflies and anxiousness before kickoff. However, he sees those normal human emotions as a fuel rather than a hindrance. As he told GQ in 2020, “I still get nervous before every game. I think that’s a good thing – it means you care. You channel it into excitement and positive energy.”

By reframing nerves as a driving force, Mahomes is able to stay engaged mentally and physically warmed up. He told CBS Sports that nervousness “gets your competitive juices going” and “gets you ready to make plays.” It primes his body and mind to operate at peak levels under the pressure of a game.

This mindset allows Mahomes to take full advantage of the adrenaline rush that comes with pre-game jitters. Instead of letting nerves distract or overwhelm him, he uses that extra surge of energy to get emotionally and physically pumped up. Come kickoff, he’s ready to unleash his talents on the field.

Spiritual Routine for Calming Focus

In addition to channeling nerves, Mahomes implements a pre-game spiritual routine to center himself. He is an openly religious person and has said that faith is very important in his life. It likely plays a role in his process for achieving mental clarity before games.

While he keeps the specific details private, Mahomes has alluded to including prayer and devotion in his pre-game activities. In an interview with Sports Spectrum, he shared that he tries “to get in the right mindset before games” through his faith. Finding peace and focus through spirituality can help counteract the frenetic energy of pre-game jitters.

Prayer and reflection provide Mahomes an opportunity to gain perspective, let go of outside distractions, and get into a calm, thoughtful headspace. This spiritual grounding allows him to block out noise and zero in on the task at hand. By the time he takes the field, his mind is clear and his thoughts are focused solely on executing the game plan to the best of his abilities.

Faith serves as a soothing balm for Mahomes’ nerves. Where some may let pre-game anxiety spiral out of control, his spiritual routine equips him with inner tranquility and poise under pressure. Come kickoff, he plays with the composed confidence of someone who has already found their center well before game time.

Team Rituals for Camaraderie and Laughter

In addition to his individual methods, Mahomes benefits from the camaraderie of teammates when it comes to managing pre-game jitters. Being surrounded by friends who share the pressure can help lighten the load.

The Chiefs have developed lighthearted team rituals that keep things loose right before games. One example is players tossing a football around in a game of catch to stay loose and crack jokes. In the locker room, they may engage in hilarious antics or friendly trash talk.

This use of humor acts as a pressure release. With laughter in the air, it’s harder for nerves to take hold. The lightheartedness also reinforces the chemistry and bond between players. Knowing they have each other’s backs on and off the field gives Mahomes added confidence.

Pre-game silliness with his teammates allows Mahomes to enjoy the moment rather than overthink it. Where anxiety could creep in for some, he finds relaxation in shared jokes and grins with friends. That camaraderie carries over onto the field, where they play with the cohesion that comes from true unity as a team.

Managing Pressure With a Multi-Pronged Approach

By employing a variety of techniques, Mahomes has figured out how to effectively manage the inevitable pre-game nerves that come with his high-profile role. He doesn’t try to simply eliminate nerves but rather channels them constructively.

Spirituality provides inner peace while team rituals foster lightheartedness. Most importantly, Mahomes’ mindset of viewing nerves as exciting fuel is what allows him to take full command of his emotions. Come kickoff, he plays with laser-like focus, unwavering poise, and his trademark clutch playmaking.

While stardom and expectations bring pressure, Mahomes proves that pressure can be your friend when you have healthy methods to cope. His multi-pronged approach demonstrates that managing pre-game jitters is as much mental as it is physical. With the right strategies, even the biggest football stars can stay in control of their nerves and perform at their absolute best when the lights shine brightest.

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