Max Sakae Ogawa

How to be at Peak Performance on Game Day

How to be at Peak Performance on Game Day

The agony, the frustration, the nail-biting, and finally, the anti-climax! I want to reach peak performance on the field and keep the flow but I find myself sitting on the bench each week.

Every week, the day before the game the coach releases his playing list. Every week, I await the arrival of the list with a mixture of eager anticipation and dread. Finally, this week, there I am, #23!

Of course, I know that a number of the team might have other commitments and that this opportunity will only be made possible due to their absence. So I don’t tell anyone. I get on with things. I bide my time.

This is written the day after the match. The highlight was putting on the #23 and being out there on the bench (surprising that being on the bench would be a career highlight!). The lowlight was watching the team lose 3-0 to C.D. Leganes “A” .

Peak performance disrupted?

I’m one short step closer to being in the starting 11 as we get to the end of Phase 1 (you will see the countdown on the frontpage of my website). I can’t pretend that I’m not disappointed. But one thing I noticed this week is that I’m getting better at handling disappointment. I’m beginning to understand on a fundamental level that some of the game involves sitting on the bench. Therefore peak performance is going to include some bench time.

As my coach and mentor said recently:

There’s something worse than being on the bench: it’s getting out there and not performing.

Getafe International Coach

The remedy for staying in flow? To get right back on the training pitch. To train harder, and be better. My coach will put me on the playing list and eventually on the field. In the meantime I can inspire my team and lead through a visible display of courage and hard work. It doesn’t hurt to practice humility too.

At the ready

And my best defense is to laugh and have fun because it is the love of the game that keeps me going. I’ll practice gratitude and make sure that I’m ready to perform when that moment comes.

People often use team sports as an analogy for grit, teamwork and life. Tell me about how you bring the lessons on field into other parts of your life below. You can also drop me an email at to share your story.


  1. I loves this article! I use lessons that I learn on the field like perseverance, that are very useful in my daily life.

    1. This is amazing to hear Jaime! Perseverance is definitely an important trait to have both on and off the field. If you have it, the sky is the limit.

  2. Hi Max, this article is so inspiring. These spoken words really remind me how important it is to persevere and stay on track no matter how hard the road gets. Would love to keep hearing more about your journey, as I believe it will inspire many young athletes.

Leave a Reply

About Max

Based in the phenomenal city of Madrid and striving to bring an excellent blogging expereince.

Follow Me


© 2021. All rights reserved by Max Ogawa.

Built to last in Spain and Australia

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x