Competition day comes, you’ve been working really hard, planning, preparing and sweating and rather than feel excited and happy, you feel pressure.
You may even question why you put yourself forward in the first place. Everyone tells you, “Just enjoy it.” You tell yourself this too, but secretly, deep down, the anxiety that you are experiencing makes you feel like you can’t-that’s what you think anyway!
Over the years I’ve worked with many top athletes and I want to reassure you that they often feel this way too. Whether the completion is local, regional or at national level, you are putting your self on the line, performance management is key, and your mindset is of paramount importance.
Here’s my top mindset tips to help you to overcome your competition nerves.
- Stop comparing yourself to other people. This is an unhelpful trait, which doesn’t lead to happiness or success. When you focus on others you lose focus of your own performance. This mindset will hinder your long-term progress.
- Plan your strategy and action to it. Don’t lose your cool or your focus and get distracted by other people. With experience you can afford to be more flexible.
- Feel the love. Feel the support from spectators or team mates. Tap into the energy and utilise it. Support others and wish them well.
- Be proud for putting yourself forward. Stop putting yourself down or apologising for yourself. Stand tall and strong and commit fully.
- Don’t waste your energy thinking about what you can’t change. The conditions, the workouts and the competitors are out of your control and there is no time left to work on your strength/ fitness or technical ability. Do your best and accept where you are right now.
- Stay in the growth mindset. In the growth mindset, you see mistakes and struggles as an opportunity to learn. This can fire you up to focus on your weaknesses rather than complaining about them and hoping that next time you get better luck. Growth mindset thinking will improve your chances of success in a great way.
- You’ve done the work, now enjoy the experience seeing it as an opportunity to test yourself and gain new experiences and feedback, which will make you a better athlete.
Now go and enjoy it!!