Dealing with Nervousness in Sports
It’s game day, and you’re feeling nervous. Your heart is racing, your palms are sweaty, and your mind is racing with thoughts. You may be experiencing what athletes call sport performance anxiety.
Sport performance anxiety is the feeling of nervousness or worry before and during a sports event. Many athletes, even professional ones, experience this feeling. It’s normal to be nervous before a big game or competition. However, too much anxiety can affect your performance.
The first step to overcoming sport performance anxiety is to recognize it. Pay attention to your body and the thoughts that are running through your mind. Take deep breaths and try to calm yourself down. Remind yourself that it’s normal to feel nervous, and it can even help you perform better.
Another helpful technique to manage anxiety is to practice positive self-talk. Instead of telling yourself, “I’m going to mess up” or “I’m not good enough, ” try saying, “I have prepared for this moment” or “I am confident in my abilities.”
Visualization is another useful strategy. Close your eyes and imagine yourself performing successfully. Picture yourself making that shot or running that race flawlessly. Visualizing success can help calm your nerves and build confidence.
Lastly, prepare yourself physically and mentally. Make sure you have trained and practiced enough for the game or competition. Trust in your abilities and focus on the task at hand, rather than worrying about the outcome.
Remember, sport performance anxiety is common, but it shouldn’t stop you from enjoying and excelling in your chosen sport. Use these techniques to overcome nervousness and perform to your fullest potential.