Thursday 24 February, Newcastle: Newcastle Eagles player Corey Johnson says all the little details make the difference, as the Canadian basketballer spent a day with the cameras bringing to life how a professional athlete focuses the day before a big game.
In the second video from Vertu Motors, the Newcastle Eagles Shooting Guard reveals some of the small routines he will go through on each matchday to prepare effectively and be at his optimum for game day.
Johnson hails from Canada and at the start of this season made his move from Leicester Riders to Tyneside. The 25-year-old, who says his role model in the sport was Michael Jordan growing up, also pays tribute to the impact of his parents.
“We used to have stacks and stacks and rows on the shelf of key Michael Jordan moments! His iconic games all there, so I would watch those over and over again. Both my parents grew up playing in Canada and they have both coached me. I grew up around it, we’re a basketball family so I have always been a part of the sport. I have a lot to thank them for.”
The video sees Johnson discussing the importance of the right preparation and having the mentality to focus on the things that can make all the difference the day before a game.
Nutrition and mobility feature as two of the biggest factors he discusses, the day before a game. Ensuring he is thinking about how to ensure he is in the best condition he can be in.
He says: “I’m pretty routine with what I eat, if you’re eating poorly all the time and you’re not doing the right things, then that’s naturally going to show on the court and it shows in your game too.
“I have really flat feet and my ankles pronate in. I do certain exercises with bands and mobility stuff for my hips, my feet and my ankles. I listen to my body so if I feel good, I won’t do as much but If I feel I have to work on a certain area before the game I do as much as I can to get things right.”
Johnson then discusses the importance of the mental side of the sport. He says: “I have a mentor that got me involved in meditation and practicing breathing. So, I always try to do that if I am ever nervous. I’ll do some box breathing just before the game to focus on the now and be invested in the moment.”
Finally, we see Johnson head to the hairdressers before undertaking a few other routines before the match the next day. On game day, the video sees Johnson talking about just how important fans are in sport and the benefit of a home atmosphere on a matchday.
“You don’t really know how important the fan atmosphere is until you don’t have it. After playing a full season without fans and in empty stadiums, it’s nice to have the crowd back just to give you that energy and the atmosphere we’ve all missed.”
The video is available to watch and share in full now across the Newcastle Eagles, Northern Echo and Vertu Motors channels.