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Maybe Your Team Needs a PGR ?

PGR stands for Pre-Game Ritual while PPR stands for Pre-Performance Routine. Both are similar in nature in aiming to prepare the athlete or team together prior to performance towards a collective goal however PGR provides a platform for the athlete to express cultural, religious, or spiritual beliefs, a sight that it is becoming widely more accepted and desired by athletes in sport.

The All-Blacks Rugby Team possibly have the most famous PGR called the Haka. The traditional war cry from Māori culture was historically performed by men before going into battle. The NZ team now uses this as their traditional PGR to prepare prior to competition.

A Pre-Game Ritual can be classified as any type of repetitive behavior that the athlete believes will bring positive affect or ward of a negative ones (Womack, 1992). Creating PGP can be easier for the individual ( prayer, totem, lucky jersey, touching the grass,) than a group attempting to create a team dance, song or tradition, unless there is shared cultural value or identity based on region or beliefs. It is possible though to find a common connection or create one.

The benefits of taking the time to establish a PGR and incorporate it within your existing PPR (Pre-Performance Routine) may just be well worth the effort.

Research ( Hagen & Shack, 2017) tells us that those individuals and teams that do will see improved:

·       Alertness – focus narrowed to align the team together

·       cooperation – working together, manifesting a belief or concept.

·       cohesion – united in song and spirit

·       interpersonal relationships – cultivating a sense of togetherness

·       motivation – wanting to represent something more than themselves

·       confidence – higher power or extrinsic force

·       feeling of being locked in similar to hypnosis

·       ability to block out distractions

·       a reduction in pressure as the load is shared.


Ultimately every PGR needs to be integrated with PPR to produce the best possible results for the athletes. Designing this requires the help of a sport psychologist or mental performance coach who can balance the physical and cognitive needs of the athletes and create an environment that is energizing but composed so the athletes start the competition with a sense of certainty that they are already on their way to winning.

Let me help you design a PGR for your athlete or team today and fill the void that may be missing from their performance


Coach B



Jnr., J. E. H., & Schack, T. (2017). Integrating pre-game rituals and pre-performance routines in a culture-specific context: Implications for sport psychology consultancy. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 17(1), 18–31.


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