Why do some athletes rise to the occasion while other athletes fall apart under pressure?
It all comes down to how you think and perceive a situation. Do you view pressure as a threat or do you welcome the challenge?
How you perceive an event will impact how you approach it, which will impact your experience, perception and how you choose to respond.
Research of athletes during competition has determined that stress is a person’s thoughts and perceptions of an event. Physiological responses follow perceptions of stress as a threat and interfere with sport performance. Therefore, if you change your perceptions about a pressure situation to a new perspective, one where you welcome the challenge, you will change your experience and influence your performance outcomes.
If the nature of the competition triggers you into a fight, flight or freeze stress response, your body will tense up and mobilize a survival reaction rather than an ideal state for competition. Optimal sports performance occurs in a positive mindset and in the present moment, not when we are stressed, afraid or nervous. An attitude that welcomes the challenge of a pressure situation is a positive mind-set. Staying present in the moment means not thinking about the past or the future and keeping your thoughts in the present moment.
Did you know that lack of motivation generates a different type of stress? Many clients come into my practice because they’re not motivated to workout or sign up for competitions and they have the desire to be more active and fit. Learning to align your daily actions with your goals and desires will help you generate a satisfying life. When we are not aligned with our desires our actions are unfulfilling, we are also stressed because we are living incongruently.
What can you do to reduce your stress?
Develop a strategy to change your thoughts and perspective. If you desire to sign up for a competition or event, align your actions to your goals. In pressure filled situations, notice what thoughts pop up in your mind when you face these situations. Is there a different way to perceive the situation? Can you see it as a challenge to embrace? Can you gain perspective by asking if this will be as important to you in a year from now?
Learning tools and techniques to reduce your stress such as: deep breathing, music, progressive muscle relaxation, imagery, and other stress reduction methods will benefit your ability to change your perspective.
Need help call coach Karen 520-955-9503, Karen@TrueFormCoaching.com, www.TrueFormCoaching.com