choking in sports
The emotional battle in sports is one of the most challenging events among athletes. Here, athletes are up against their opponent and team and also themselves. One emotional struggle that many athletes experience is the struggle with worry. The act of worry divides an athlete's full focus from the present task, therefore, depleting their focus in performance and their productivity outside of it. In fact, worry is such a strong emotion that it is also responsible for robbing many from experiencing enjoyment in their daily lives outside of sport.
I'd like to introduce to everyone The Thinking Mind. It likes to show up on big occasions and crash the party. Perhaps, you have recognized its presence before a big game, during crucial moments of competition, or right after sudden unexpected changes in your environment. In life, the thinking mind may present itself in decisive moments such as right before a big test, losing a job, or engagement proposal. In war, the thinking mind presents itself more and more before soldiers are sent into war.
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.
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.”