The physical prep is covered in an earlier post and relatively easy. Pick an outfit - check. Pick and do my makeup - check. Check my drink bottles and refill with Gatorade Zero Sugar (I am diabetic). Check tournament bag for the following: Oakley glasses - check. South Carolina Gamecocks card protector - check. Elsa - check. Wintergreen Life Savers - check. I sometimes add dry roasted peanuts as a snack.
Before all that takes place, I go through a process called "Clearing the Mechanism". What does that entail?
Clearing the mechanism means that I clear my head of extraneous thoughts. One of my greatest abilities at the table is to focus strictly on the task at hand. By eliminating distractions (phone, TV, etc), it makes getting into the "zone" at lot easier.
So, how do I "clear the mechanism"? First, I up the app called Pandora. My play list of music ranges from Richard Strauss (Also Sprach Zarastrustra. The theme from the 1968 movie called 2001: A Space Odyssey) to Boston to REO Speedwagon toRichard Marx to Jon Bon Jovi to Journey to Elton John to Lady Gaga and more. My wife, Sue, knows that when I get that "look" in my eyes, it's going to be a good night.
One thing I have recently added is set of earbuds. They allow me to continue with "clearing the mechanism" right up until its go time.