Gio Gonzalez’s game day ritual

February 21

In a conversation with Men’s Journal, Gio Gonzalez ran down his game day routine. It includes some of the standards, like a hot tub/cold tub combo, music and stretching. He also only eats one meal on game days, at 2 p.m., to make sure he’s satisfied but not stuffed.

It’s a fairly normal prep list, but there is one game day activity that is specifically “Gio.”

“I try my best to get a haircut before [every game],” he says. “It’s almost a ritual, a routine that I have to do.” A clean-shaven face and a tight trim won’t strike fear into a batter, but Gonzalez insists that “a loose mind means a loose body.” He’s conditioned himself to associate the barber with winning, giving himself a psychological edge through positive reinforcement.

Gonzalez has talked in the past about his obsession with haircuts, admitting when he came to Washington that he was having his barber flown in from Oakland for regular shape-ups. The Nats have a team barber, so I’m not sure if the Oakland import is still a necessity, but apparently the twice a week haircuts are still in play.

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