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How Athletes Should Deal With Anxiety

Athletes are training long and hard for a future sports event. The big day will be the moment of truth and athletes are wondering whether the dream will come true. Doubts and nagging thoughts regularly emerge, chipping away at their motivation and confidence slowly. If not managed, anxiety can feel quite overwhelming and it’s difficult…

Athletes are training long and hard for a future sports event. The big day will be the moment of truth and athletes are wondering whether the dream will come true. Doubts and nagging thoughts regularly emerge, chipping away at their motivation and confidence slowly. If not managed, anxiety can feel quite overwhelming and it’s difficult for us to focus. In this situation, nothing we do could bring a sense of relief. Instead of focusing on practice sessions, athletes will need to fight down the endless waves of anxiety. For each athlete, anxiety is real. It will cause various emotional, mental and physical symptoms.

Physical symptoms of anxiety may include butterflies, upset stomach, racing heart, sweating palms, nausea, shakiness and dry mouth. Mental symptoms are worries, doubts, fear, distraction, blank minds, freezes and mind blocks. Emotional symptoms are irritability, fight-flight response and conscious thoughts of inadequacy. Before the actual match, you need to dissect your worries, doubts and fears. If manageable, they are good, because you will be motivated to be better. In any case, you are seeking to compete and win, not to lose. When you are focusing about winning, it will also unlock the Pandora’s Box. Doubts and other nasty thoughts will be unleashed.

In this case, you should avoid allowing things to spin out of control. You need to contain the momentum that goes to wrong direction. Each day, you should catch any nasty thought and try to regain the control of your body. This way, it will be easier for you to put a lid on your anxiety. There are different ways to do this. Many athletes find that they can calm their nerves by tapping on multiple meridian points. Before addressing anxiety, you should also be keenly aware about your anxiety.

There are many questions that arise days and hours before the sports events. As an example, you may wonder whether you can stay strong in the race. You may be concerned that you will miss a stroke or can’t catch the ball. This happens because you don’t want to lose. When doubts and negative thoughts start to emerge, you should counter them with positive statements. It’s important for you to feel more confident and focused about your surroundings. When doing warm-up drills, it should be a great opportunity to maintain your focus. You should take some deep breathes and quieten your mind.

Even under the best circumstances, anxiety can still be difficult to address. It would be helpful if you can understand its cause. Based on your experience, you should find out whether anxiety has interfered with your performance. Make a list of thoughts that tend to add to your tensions. Make a positive statement to counter each of the doubt and negative thoughts. When a negative thought emerges, use the appropriate positive statement to neutralize the effect. You need to be mentally aware and alert about any unwanted thoughts that can degrade your sports performance. Eventually, this will become a second-nature and you will always seek ways to become more positive.

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