How to Overcome Performance Anxiety in Sport
The world of competitive sport is tough and by no means for the faint hearted. And sadly, many individuals who perform well during practice, struggle to match this high standard in a more competitive setting. This is not uncommon though, and fortunately there are a number of things you can do to battle anxiety and stress and ensure that you reach your full potential for those big events and competitions.
Reducing Anxiety Before the Event
Negative energy or negative self-talk are absolute killers for sapping your confidence in the lead up to a competitive sporting event. In the hours before a race or game, try to recognise that feeling nervous or a little anxious in completely natural. Nobody who cares about their sport doesn’t get the jitters to some extent. So try not to over-think these feelings. A good way to distract yourself is to do some stretches or other warm-ups to take your mind of the nerves. Having done that, some positive visualisations are a must; try and imagine yourself doing everything right, whether that means winning a race or scoring a goal. Envisaging a positive outcome rather than expecting the worst is a very practical and effective step towards freeing yourself from anxiety and negative thought processes.
Reducing Anxiety During the Event
The most important thing you can do during the event is to stay in the moment. If you do make a mistake, don’t dwell on it; let it be and focus yourself on doing the best you can for the remainder of the time. It’s no easy task, but if you can free yourself from constantly thinking and compete like you don’t care about the outcome, the outcome will more than likely be a positive one.
Seeing Extra Help
In all professional competitive sports, some athletes will require outside help in order to overcome their anxiety. Often anxiety can be linked to deeper unresolved issues of the past, in which case seeing a professional sports psychologist or a psychic reader may be necessary in order to overcome personal issues and get back to performing your very best.
A Good Starting Block
Like any competitive field, sport will breed anxiety amongst its competitors. The important thing is how those competitors deal with this in a positive and practical way. Hopefully, this article will have given you a good starting block.
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