Photo: Loren Elliott, Special To The Chronicle
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Mozart, Beethoven and “nature sounds” are all on the pre-game meditation playlist of Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson.
While speaking to reporters on Monday before the start of the Western Conference Finals against the Portland Trail Blazers, Thompson said that the night before a game, he’ll try to visualize as much of the game as possible, taking inspiration from golfer Tiger Woods.
“Andre Iguodala told me that Tiger Woods visualizes every single shot he shoots on 18 holes on the golf course, so if he can do that that’s incredible,” he said. “I try to do the same, approach the basketball, just try to visualize getting to my spots, what my opponent is going to do, so when you come to the game you’ve seen it before.”
When asked what he listens to while meditating, Thompson said classical music or nature sounds.
“I try to put on some classical Pandora or some nature sounds,” he said. “I can’t listen to like rap or hip hop when I do it because then I just get distracted. But, something pleasant in the background. It’s nice, man. It’s a challenge. It’s much harder than working out but, especially for me, my mind races. So, it’s good practice for me.”
A reporter asked if Thompson has a favorite classical composer, to which he replied, “Ha. No, man. Mozart. Beethoven.”
Thompson has other daily and pre-game rituals, including jumping into a freezing-cold pool to wake himself up every day.
During a Reddit Ask Me Anything in December, Thompson said he started the pool ritual about a year ago.
“I get my pool as cold as possible, and before I do anything in the morning I try and roll out of bed and jump in the pool, just to jump start and wake me up,” he said. “Get me alive and well to start the day. I started doing that about a year ago and it works so well for me that I still do it.”
Before the Warriors’ Game 3 win over the Los Angeles Clippers in the team’s opening round playoff series last month, Thompson jumped into the Pacific Ocean.
“Whenever I have a game that I don’t think is up to my standards, I try to do something different,” Thompson said. “So yesterday I went and jumped in the Pacific Ocean. It was cold, but it was worth it. It [woke] me up and healed the body and mind.”
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This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/warriors/article/Klay-Thompson-meditation-Mozart-Trail-Blazers-NBA-13842532.php.