Over the past 18 months, life has changed dramatically for me. I've taken on more responsibilities, and as a result, I haven't been able to prepare for my games in my normal way. When I wasn't working I was able to, and I felt my performance just skyrocket, so I do think it makes a difference.
I bring this up after the two tournaments because you really can't go through your routine. You're not at home, you can't pack your bag, or listen to the music the same way you normally would on the way to the rink. It throws you off.
I've been working on developing my routine again, and it is starting to come back. It starts with food. I like to have just some noodles fried in a pan with some olive oil and garlic. Occasionally I'll throw some chicken in there if I haven't eaten well all day. Shortly after, I brush my teeth and wash my face. It just feels like it helps me breathe or something out there. I usually get dressed to get to the rink after that. Sometimes it just may not happen. If my equipment needs to be put together (jerseys, equipment back in the bag, retape sticks), I take care of it next. Everything gets set by the door, ready to go. I spend some time with the dog before I leave. Usually we rough house a little bit, but sometimes we only have time for a short walk. By then I do a double check of everything, and I'm ready for my trip to the rink.
But I guess really preparation always starts after the last game. I always wash my jerseys, socks and anything else that is easy to wash. I let them air dry, and that all gets done right away, allowing me to play the next night if necessary. I then put the skates in the right spot to make sure they dry and don't rust, and let the equipment out of my bag so that it is mostly dry for the next day. It really hate putting on wet stuff.
Sometimes I can go through all of this, others I can't. It is just interesting to see how it impacted me the past couple of weeks.