Here are 4 simple strategies that athletes can use so when they are in a pressure situation so they are mentally ready and prepared for it when it counts.
Strategy #1 – Practice being under pressure in your mind
So when they experience it in real life they are ready. Before going to sleep at night or day dreaming. Practice and imagine being under pressure in a high pressure situation….but the key thing is seeing yourself coming through with flying colours.
Pre- living in as much detail as possible on how they want to be thinking at that critical moment of truth, and practice using positive self-talk such as a mantra such as “I can do this” “I’ve got this”, “Just like in training” “I want the ball”, image being intense but not nervous, passionate, yet calm.
Strategy #2 Focus on physical aspect of your sport that makes you successful
You do this by concentrating your mind on the keys to good skill execution and the game plan the coach has designed or set up.
Players need to stop thinking about winning or losing….see your mind is like a computer with a lot of Computing Power and you have to give it something positive and useful to do…….and this is what distracts your mind from any negative thoughts, by keeping the mind busy on your skills stops it from going negative on you.
You see Pressure isn’t real, it’s something you create in your own thinking it comes and goes by making a choice on what you decide to focus on.
Keep your focus on your Strategy, Routines and Game Plan to defeat pressure.
Strategy #3 – Master the Fear by being in the Present Moment
Think about it for a moment Fear in Sports does not exist in the present moment….it gets created by you having to think about it and by thinking of past mistakes or worrying about the future.
Anytime an athlete Fear or what they commonly call in sports “Performance Anxiety” is effectively just another label for Fear….. and anytime a player feels Fear they need to get in the present moment by directing their focus to their 5 senses.
Things such as Feeling the floor or field, hearing the noises in the room or ground, seeing your team mates playing the game use your eyes or just looking around at your environment.
This can be very powerful if practiced regularly. This can be done anytime and anywhere, especially useful when its crunch time in a game and instantly you feel it that pressure fade away when you get in the present moment.
Strategy #4 – Its “And” World
What do I mean by an AND WORLD?
It means the athlete excepts what they are feeling and stops fighting it – How do you do this?
Well you say to yourself “well there you go I am feeling a bit of pressure that’s interesting I am curious about that”………well guess what I can feel these emotions AND perform anyway.
I can feel and nervousness AND I can still smash it and perform well.
Now all of us have felt times where we have felt scared AND got on with it with things anyway.
Saying the word AND, it allows you to just go with it instead of fighting it.
Even the greatest athletes in the world feel pressure AND they still go out and perform while feeling it, AND you can too!
So hopefully you can see how important it is to learn and develop and practice your mental skills.
Now these 4 strategies will work but to really see big changes in your athlete’s performance its critical they get this information from their heads and into their bodies. And to make this happen this happen I have put together a Mastering Pressure with this guided visualisation.
Just put in your email address and I will send you a link: Link to Guided Visualisation
Athletes can download it to their phones and can be used to listen to anytime or where ever such a big match or game coming up.
I am Peter Tait Sports Mental Toughness coach – Lets do this!