One of the worst feelings every athlete has experienced at least once in their life is choking. It's that moment when the athlete feels a sudden, unpleasant, overwhelming sensation, where their body and mind almost gets taken over by a performance virus. This virus, if you will, debilitates the athlete's performance and ultimately leads to a loss that should've never occurred. In my work at SPMI, I am fortunate to reach out and help athlete's overcome this disastrous feeling time and time again. I want to share a little about why it occurs and some ways to help combat the symptoms.
Ever get so overwhelmed before competing that it causes you to underperform? Sometimes it’s more about distracting yourself before competition than focusing on it. Distractions can serve as useful tools in protecting our mind from becoming overwhelmed before competing. As athletes, we often experience overwhelming thoughts and feelings due to our fears of failure, disappointment, and expectations from our self and others, and even that once in a lifetime shot at achieving our dreams.
Getting Ready to compete………………. It’s less than 1 hour away from competition and every athlete is getting ready. Some athletes are physically warming up by doing some repetitions of a few basic skills. Others are stretching and listening to music, and some are strategizing with their coach and loved ones, while others are alone collecting their thoughts. Different Routines, Same Goal……………………..
As a junior tennis player looking to maximize your game the last thing you want is to let your passion turn into anger. Anger is a type of emotion that often translates into poor performance and has a positive effect on improving your opponent’s confidence as well as turning college coaches away from considering you as a serious candidate for their team. Think of getting angry on the court as an injury to your mind. Like a physical injury, your mind needs time to heal.
#1 Question Junior Tennis Players Ask about Losing…….
Bruce Lee said it best when asked about failure. “Defeat is a state of mind; no one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality.”
Training Your Mind for Success in the Off Season