CORONADO — Mallory Mitchell thrusts her right leg forward and leans her body over it, stretching her hamstring. She repeats the process with her left leg.
She steps back and takes a series of deep breaths. With her head bowed, she pictures herself excelling on the soccer field.
Stretch, breathe and visualize — the sequence describes an ordinary pregame routine for many athletes.
For Mitchell, it’s more.
The Coronado High junior midfielder doesn’t stop at cycling through the three acts before games. She will occasionally repeat them during the non-action moments of matches as a way to overcome periods of frustration.
“It’s like starting over,” Mitchell said. “Just forgetting what happened. I tell myself that it’s not a big deal, to get over it. Do something else to beat the defender or whatever’s going on.”
Mitchell’s process of mental and physical resetting has helped her meet the lofty expectations she set two years ago as a freshman.
She gave herself a tough act to follow.
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