Fear in any sport is an athlete’s worst nightmare. One minute you’re in class listening to the lecture when suddenly your stomach begins churning.
Fears can come in all different shapes and sizes. Whether it’s about learning a new skill, or one you have been doing for years, getting fear out of your head is important. When that anxiety emerges you start overthinking and it only makes matters worse.
The brain is a powerful thing and it can make or break anything you do, especially as an athlete. So, the key to success is to think fearlessly.
I like to tell myself that no matter what happens, if I get my first attempt out of the way I am one step closer to being done with the drama. This reminder that things can only get better is always reassuring.
The amount of time I have put in, and the resulting experience I have gained from sports lead me to this mantra of sorts: “I have never been more prepared than in this moment.”
Repeating this to myself is a way of calming me and allows my confidence to wax to full strength before attempting a complex skill.
But when positive self talk doesn’t do the trick I approach a teammate to get a “laid back” approach. Having a casual conversation eases my mind and can simplify the situation.
Visualization is a useful tool as well. I take the time to sit quietly and imagine myself doing a skill perfectly. I feel the excitement of a perfect landing. I hear the crowd roar. It really hypes me up.
I like to think that adrenaline is a hormone released to make us better and not to hold us back, and I use it to my advantage.
Fear can be annoying and discouraging, but it’s all in your head. We all just need to remember that we are in control of any situation and there are many ways to get past fear.
Story by: Maddie Loomis for SUU News
Photo by: SUU Athletic Strategic Communication