Why LSU Wins So Often When it Matters

Performance Pressure

Peak Performance Under Pressure

Pressure can make even the best teams falter in big games.

When pressure gets the best of an athlete, their emotions run wild, anxiety shoots sky high, they start to question their ability to perform and lose their focus.

If you are going to perform like a champion, you will need to manage pressure and make it work for you.

The LSU softball team is a prime example of peak performance under pressure.

LSU has been on the brink of elimination from the college playoffs multiple times over the years, yet they never seem to fold under the pressure.

Over the past three seasons, LSU has played ten super regional and regional round elimination games in the NCAA tournament. How’s that for big-game pressure?

More amazingly, LSU has won all ten games. How’s that for performing under pressure!

The last elimination victory came this year, a 6-4 win over Florida State which put LSU in the Women’s College World Series for the third consecutive year.

LSU head coach Beth Torina talked about perspective being the key to LSU’s ability to successfully perform under pressure.

TORINA: “I think we have a good mentality when it comes to these games. We don’t approach it carelessly. We don’t approach it fearfully. We know that if we lose, the sun comes up tomorrow, so don’t think that life is hanging on this one moment. I think we just try to go out and enjoy it, play hard and represent this university.”

What exactly is the mentality that Torina speaks of, the mentality that has helped LSU win so many elimination games over the years?

LSU pitcher Carley Hoover explained that the team mindset is to train to handle the pressure. Hoover stated that the battle is won before the pitch is even thrown.

LSU is confident under pressure because they have experienced the event first in practice.

HOOVER: “I feel like you win or lose before the batter steps in the box. Of course, they can surprise you and get an 0-2 hit, but if I’m beating them mentally before they are even in the box, then I win.”

“If I’m already losing to them before they get in the box, they win. So I already tell myself that, if I’m losing before someone steps in the box, it’s not going to be a very positive outcome for me. I think that we work on that mental training.”

When you experience a situation over and over in your mind prior to it happening, you learn to cope with the situation.

That is, the more you experience something mentally or physically, the more prepared you become to act confidently.

You too can perform like a champion by learning how to manage the pressure and win the mental battle.

How to Perform Like a Champion in Pressure Situations:

(1) Practice visualizing different competitive scenarios–ones you’ll face in the game. Make those images as vivid as possible. Mentally experience the sounds, sights and smells of the event.

What would you feel? What positive thoughts would run through your mind? Make sure you visualize a successful outcome.

(2) Think about any trying situations you might experience, such as the bases loaded and it’s your turn to bat.

How will respond with composure this these tough situations? How will you focus on the task instead of worrying about doing the wrong thing?

When you can practice mentally how you’ll respond to pressure situations, you will be on your way to becoming a peak performer.

And make sure you improve your focus under pressure with “The Focused Athlete” Audio program–on CD and digital download

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The Focused Athlete

It’s probably no secret that you have many opportunities to become distracted in sports. Athletes are bombarded with both internal and external distractions everyday in practice and competition. Focused athletes are able to get the most from their skills because they are more efficient with practice and more concentrated in competition. Athletes who lack focus let distractions run wild through their mind and don’t know how to adjust or refocus.

The Focused Athlete was developed for any level coach, parent, or junior to professional athlete who wants to improve performance and gain a competitive edge. It does not matter if you are a fledgling junior athlete; or a seasoned professional, plagued with distractions; or you just wanting to learn how to improve concentration…

“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 time you step on the playing field, court, track, or course in practice and games!

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