This is going to be short and to the point. Let’s talk about warming up before an event.
When I started woodworking, I read a post about cutting dovetails, and the author wrote about warming up. It’s important in pretty much anything you need to do well on the first try. It’s not only athletes that need warm ups.
In my recent event at Dutch Grand Championship I failed to warm up for my day two. I don’t know if it would have changed the outcome of the game, most likely not, but it would have certainly helped reducing the drain of the game. If I had won, I would have needed to go on to another match completely depleted.
I have been warming up for events for some time now, and tried several different methods and I think I found what is ideal for me. It may of course vary from person to person.
Before my day 2 game at Krakow Vault Tour: Archon I played a warm up game against my teammate James, and it was a long and grindy game I eventually lost. I played the deck I was going to play, and we had Jakub also peek in on the game and give James advice. This format would have been great for a practice session, putting the grinds on me and pushing me to make better plays. But as a warm up game, it did not do a good job. It made me frustrated and tired.
Before my first game at the Dutch Grand Championship I played a game with my SO. The deck we played didn’t really matter, what was important was to get our heads in the game. I also stopped the game when we were both at 1 key. I did not want to defeat my SO and put her in defeatist mindset. I also realized that losing might also affect me.
I think this is an ideal format for a warm up. Play a little, and stop after a key or two are forged. Still need some warm up? Do it again.
Prepare the body
While we’re not playing a physical sport, we could all benefit from a little better blood flow to our body, and more importantly, brain. So before an event, try and do some stretches, whatever you enjoy doing. Maybe do a couple jumping jacks to get some more blood flow. Especially do so if it’s cold, warm yourself up.
It was mentioned in the comments, and is very important, so I’ll add it here too. Make sure you’re hydrated not only in the first game, but throughout the event. A good light meal before the event and some snacks during will also go a long way.
Rest your mind
It can also be a very good idea to find a way to relax for a few minutes before the event. A friend said they like putting on music for a few minutes and close their eyes. It’s a good way to shut out convention noise and destress.
Another option is to go out of the venue after registration and take a few moments of quiet from the noise.
Contact and afterward
Hope you found this topic helpful, and remember, to have a warm up game, you need to be early at the venue. Don’t make my mistake and rely on uber to get there, and arrive 5 minutes before the round starts.