Are you Nervous in Competition?

Can Nervousness Lead to Choking?

Are you an athlete who get overly nervous? Some athletes believe they cannot be successful when they feel nervous, but this might not be the case.

Nervous athletes feel like “this is who I am” and believe there is nothing they can do to control their nervousness.

So they enter competitions feeling excessively nervous, perform excessively tight and under perform. They then use that experience to support their belief that they will never be successful.

Many times we see elite athletes as super-human, immune from nervousness.

We think these elite athletes rise to the occasion, sink the winning shot, win the gold or perform flawlessly every time they enter the competitive arena.

This misconception traps many younger athletes who want to emulate their athletic super-heroes. These athletes tend to set the bar way too high thinking, “I need to be relaxed and in control in order to perform at a high level.”

Unfortunately, performing nerve-free doesn’t exist. Even the greatest athlete in the history of sport faced nerves. Being nervous doesn’t mean you are not mentally tough, it means you are human.

The key isn’t being nerve-free or comfortable all the time, but instead be able to perform when you feel uncomfortable.

For example, PGA golfer Rory McIlroy, at the age of 30, already has Hall of Fame credentials being a 15-time major winner. Yet, McIlroy admitted in a press interview that he experiences some degree of nervousness prior to every tournament.

McILROY: “I’m pretty truthful with you guys. Look, I was nervous on the first tee but not nervous because of [the expectation of hometown crowd]. Nervous because it’s an Open Championship. I usually get nervous on the first tee anyway, regardless of where it is.”

McIlroy went on further to identify the reason he gets nervous and a strategy to help him deal with his nervousness.

McILROY: “I think I was making [the Open] a little bit bigger in my head than it needed to be.”

One way athletes feel nervous is when they focus too much on the importance of a competition. When you make the event bigger than it is, it amplifies the pressure.

The strategy McIlroy uses is to treat each competition as “just another competition” no matter who you play, where you play or when you play. The second part of his strategy is to recognize that you have done it before and you can do it again.

McILROY: “I’m just treating this like any other Open Championship. I’ve played well here for the last few years. I’ve played well on this golf course. So I’ve just got to go out and hit the shots and stay in the present.”

This is easier said then done in the middle of the competition, but the lesson is that you can learn to cope with nervousness.

Adding this mental skill in your bag will make you a stronger and more successful athlete.

Read more about why athletes choke here.

Nervousness: Use it or Lose it

Rate the importance of your upcoming competition from 1 to 10.

If you rate the competition at the high end of the scale, find similarities to other competitions in the past that you haven’t rated so high.

Think of reasons you can perform at a high level in this upcoming competition.

Avoid thinking about the outcome and what they outcome might mean to you. A lot of fear is about how you think others will respond to your win or lose.

Improve Concentration in Sports!

The Focused Athlete

If you’re an athlete who is frequently distracted, loses focus in competition, or wants to learn more about how to focus better under pressure, The Focused Athlete is for you!

Concentration and the ability to focus under adversity is what championship athletes do best.

It only takes one distraction to enter your mind for you to lose a critical point, miss a putt, or lose a second off your lap time. You cannot afford to let distractions run wild in your mind and cause you to make errors at critical times in the game!

The Focused Athlete is a complete system to teach you how to focus like a champion and harness the power of a zone focus every tie you step on the playing field, court, track or course in practice and games!

This workbook and CD program consists of 2 audio CDs that include 14 days of focus boosting exercises and a simple to follow workbook that guides you through each of the 14 days, helps you apply strategies, and customizes the exercises to your personal focus challenges.

You’ll Discover:

  • How to quickly identify distractions that sabotage your concentration and how to quickly refocus after distractions.
  • How to use pre-shot routines before shots or serves to help you be more task-focused instead of worrying about results.
  • How to use pregame routines to help you harness the power of zone concentration before competition.

Learn more about one of our most popular CD programs in The Confident Athlete Series

The Focused Athlete: A 14-Day Plan For Superior Concentration

What are customers saying about our mental game programs?

“As a result of reading and implementing The Confident Athlete Series,’ I am once again enjoying golf and letting bad shots roll off my shoulders and appreciating my good shots without attaching expectations. Thanks Dr. Cohn!”
~Stu Blasius, P.G.A. Golf Professional

“Your response to the throwing problem in front of the coach covers so many situations in life…that is the beauty of playing sports…the life learning experiences. Keep up the good work…you are the best mental coach.”
~Bill Brennan, sports parent

Boost Your Self-Confidence And Focus With Expert Mental Game Coaching!

If you’re a top performer during practice but find yourself under-performing in competition, the most likely culprit holding you back is your mental game. In fact, many athletes struggle with the same problem….

Master mental game coach Dr. Patrick Cohn can help you overcome your mental game issues with personal coaching.

Meet with us via Skype, phone, FaceTime, or GoTo Meeting. With today’s video technology, we are able to connect with athletes and coaches all over the globe.

Mental toughness coaching helps serious athletes like you to uncover the beliefs and attitudes that keep you from performing to your potential. You’ll learn mental game strategies to perform at your peak more often, overcoming performance plateaus and lack of consistency

Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 or contact us for more information about the different coaching programs we offer!

What are our mental coaching students saying?

“I have spent hundreds to dollars on clubs, putters, etc. always looking for answers. But I knew this was not going to work because I have some internal issues I had to deal with on the golf course. Working with Dr. Cohn on mental game by far is the best investment I have made. I have some great tools to work on to see my mental game improve.  I feel better now than I have ever have on the golf course and I thank you so much for helping me with the positive mental direction.”
~Sean McQueary

“Both of the last 2 weekends, Nicolas had high-pressure basketball tournaments where he really showed improvement and maturity! He reacted very calmly to missed shots and mistakes and was very poised in the very close finals game. We have never seen him so composed and locked-in on the issue at hand! He has also realized that and tells us that he feels more calm and confident than before.”
~Alex Mylonas, Nicolas’ father

“Since I have been working with Dr. Cohn, I have noticed a dramatic improvement in my training and racing performance. Dr. Cohn has helped me to be much more confident in my racing and the results prove it! I look forward to your help as I move into the pro ranks.”
~Matt Boni, Motocross Champion

“First, I would like to thank you for the help given to me through your programs, ‘The Confident Athlete’ and ‘The Focused Athlete.’ I have made tremendous sacrifices though all these years to become a top Olympic Trap shooter but something was missing. This missing part was with my mental game. My scores increased tremendously in record time and other said that I was a different shooter.”
~Marios Kapodistria

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