The Mental Game: Why fear is an athlete's toughest opponent

The Mental Game: Why fear is an athlete's toughest opponent

Mental Edge Performance

The Mental Game: Why fear is an athlete's toughest opponent

By 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.

Fear is an athlete’s worst enemy.

Fear of losing, failure, being criticized, making mistakes, getting injured, or losing can paralyze athletes.

What do you do to overcome theses fears?

Instructions, such as “Don’t be afraid” or “relax,” is too simplistic and doesn’t help most athletes.

When you are tight or afraid to make mistakes, for example, you can’t let it happen and get into the flow of the game. You judge your game and think too much about outcomes.Your primary goal is to trust your athletic ability when you perform. Most result-oriented thinking by athletes leads to anxiety and playing scared.

In competition, you want to let yourself play. Let go of the fear and allow yourself to let it happen. Over-analyzing only makes matters worse, because you start to fill your mind with more thoughts than you can process at one time, and you begin to overthink everything.

Not thinking ahead and reacting during competition are the simple ways to let go of the fear. Keep your thinking and performance simple. Focus on what you have to do one play, routine, or run at a time!

Focus on performing freely and trusting your skills from practice. React instead of second-guessing yourself.


More USA TODAY High School Sports