The Mental Game: The best ways for athletes to deal with pressure

The Mental Game: The best ways for athletes to deal with pressure

Mental Edge Performance

The Mental Game: The best ways for athletes to deal with pressure

MentalEdgePerformance.ca is founded by Shayne McGowan, based on the concept of creating a superior standard of training for athletes on and off the field. McGowan is a certified mental game coaching professional. He has studied a Cal State university and has played football in college and briefly in the pros. He is a member of Coaches of Canada and NCCP certified, has 30 years fitness background as a trainer. He has done interviews on Fox Sports Radio, CBS Sports Radio, NFL Spin Zone, NFL Showtime, BlogTalkRadio and writes for Train fitness magazine.

Pressure can get to any athlete That is, however, if the athlete lets it happen. Pressure is the perception of threat by the athlete.

Worrying about results, game conditions, and the opposing team can increase the sense of pressure experienced by athletes. But these situations or conditions are only triggers for pressure. How athletes view these trigger are what leads to pressure in sports.

When pressure becomes excessive, athletes can either freeze up in competition or overthink their next action.

I notice that athletes will play tentatively, cautiously, or afraid to make mistakes when they are anxious or worried about outcomes.

Excessive pressure can cause you to lose focus on what really matters, which is focusing on the process or what you need to do in the present to play optimally. Focusing on what makes you feel pressure tends to turn performance into a what seems like a life-or-death proposition.

Athletes need to understand that pressure is something you create for yourself, not the situation you are in when competing.

What’s under your direct control in competition? Be specific and consider elements of effort, the process of the performing an action, mental focus and your reactions to circumstances during competition. Focus on what you can control for your role, not the outcome that leads you to worry and feel pressure.

If you start to focus on your triggers for pressure, stop and remind yourself to focus on your routine and what you can control. You can’t control the outcome, so no need to fret about it.

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