How Stress Can Affect Sports Performance

Rory Pregame Jitters

Not All Stress is Bad for your Performance

Stress can affect your performance in two different ways. Stress can help you when it makes you more alert, more motivated to practice, and gain a competitive edge. In the right amount, stress helps you prepare, focus, and perform at your optimal level. Conversely, too much stress, or bad stress, can cause performance anxiety, which hurts your health and does not allow you to play relaxed, confident, and focused in competition.

“You’re always going to be nervous teeing it up in a Major Championship. It’s very natural and it’s a good thing. It means that you want it.”

~Rory McIlroy, first round leader at the 2011 Masters

Every competitive athlete experiences some stress; good and bad. Your stress may be positive and helpful or instill anxiety and apprehension. Pregame jitters can cause some athletes to not sleep well the night before competition. Some athletes can’t eat the morning before a big game. Your pre-competition jitters may make you feel like you have to throw up.

You want to feel excitement or thrill in anticipation for competition (what I call positive pregame jitters). A high level of activation will help you perform your best – up to a point where you may be too jacked up to play well. Too little or too much intensity (or stress) can cause your performance to decline. Your ability to cope effectively with pregame nerves is critical to consistent peak performance.

To read the entire article “How Stress Can Affect Sports Performance” visit April’s addition of:

Sports Insight Magazine, by Peak Performance Sports, LLC

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The Relaxed Athlete

Relaxed athlete

The ability to relax and play your game under pressure is what separates the winner from the loser in any competition. Champion athletes train hard in practice, are motivated for the right reasons, and are able to raise their game in crunch-time with two minutes remaining in the game..

A relaxed and confident performance begins in the mind! When you are mentally prepared to compete, you can have an optimal level of intensity AND poise!

The Relaxed Athlete program is ideal for any athlete that wants to overcome pregame anxiety, worry, or excess tension and learn to perform with poise. It’s also ideal for any coach or parent who wants to teach athletes to perform with poise and relaxation in competition.

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