Taking the Last Shot

Week One: Season Opener

Lili Thompson College Basketball Player

It’s Finally Here!

Friday, November 10th, 11:40pm

Night Before The Season Opener

It’s the night before our season opener, and I’m not sure how I feel. I’m excited, no doubt, but there’s something else there, as well…

Every Thursday, our team meets with Notre Dame’s two sports psychologists, and last week we talked about the Yerkes-Dodson Performance Curve. Here’s a picture of it:

Basically, we talked about how as your tension (or energy) increases, your level of performance will also increase. At this point, you’re in your comfort zone and you’re able to perform at a very high level. BUT, there’s a point where your energy, which is working for you, turns into anxiety, and starts working against you. You’ve actually got too much energy and it starts to impact your ability to play.

I say all this to say that right now, at 11:40 on the night before the game, I feel pretty high energy. I’ll definitely need to bring myself down some, not only for the game, but also so I can sleep tonight!

I’m also going to practice some “deep-belly breathing” tonight before bed and also tomorrow before the game. This is something else we practice with our sports psychologists. It helps me to calm any racing thoughts I may have. I also do it before games in order to concentrate on my goals for that particular game (i.e. taking care of the ball, good shot selection, etc.)

Tomorrow morning we’ll get shots up a couple of hours before the game in our position groups. I’m looking forward to getting a little sweat going and burning off some excess energy.

Goodnight for now!


Saturday, November 11th

4 hours until tip-off

Game days are always pretty busy. Us guards just finished shooting around. It felt really good to get some shots up in the arena and break a little sweat. I’ve never been the type to get really nervous before the games and today’s no exception. I feel ready to go, mentally, now its just time to get my body ready (5 years of college basketball hasn’t been easy on me!) I twisted my ankle during pre-season and I’ve got to do quite a bit of prep to get warm and ready-to-go.

College basketball game-day schedule



Final Score:

ND 121- MSM 65

My Stat Line:

10 points, 8 assists, 1 turnover, 1 block, 2 steals, 25 minutes

We won! Our season opener against Mount St. Mary’s was a relative success. Because we have the ability to have such a great year, its hard to judge our success simply based off of the score. Coach McGraw wants us to play up to our own standard, not simply beat the team in front of us.

It was pretty cool to play my first official game in Purcell Pavilion. Its a bit larger than Maples Pavilion, where I played at Stanford. The fans were awesome and, since it was a Saturday afternoon game, there were plenty of them.

We were up by so much that in the fourth-quarter, Coach was able to play everyone, including our walk-ons. It was a really cool atmosphere, especially when everyone went crazy when both of our walk-ons scored. I will say though, that I wish I got to play a little bit longer to try to get 2 more assists and go for the double-double. That’ll be my goal for the season though.

We have tomorrow (Sunday) off from practice, and everyone is excited about that, because now that season is here, we’ll be plenty busy. At Stanford, our games were usually on Fridays and Sundays, and we had Mondays off; so a free weekend-day is rare!

Our next seven games are all on the road, and we won’t be playing back at home until December 6th. It’ll be a tough road trip, including teams like UConn, Oregon State, and Michigan; all top 25 teams.

Pre-season is the time where teams gets into a rhythm of playing together, and it’ll be extra important for us. We’ve got 6 newcomers: 2 transfers, 2 freshmen, and 2 walk-ons. These early road games will not only be a great test for us, but also a great opportunity for us to get used to playing together and start the season strong.


What was your season opener like? How are you feeling about the upcoming season? Tell me in the comments below.


Until next time,


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