There are a few things that regularly throw athletes off at competitions. It’s important that you can prepare for different variables and situations, so that you aren’t annoyed or flustered when they happen. In order to perform your best, you need to stay in your zone, and focus on working your ass off. You want to stay calm and confident so that you can focus on your game.
I’m going to detail 5 things that will likely happen at an event. Learn how to combat them with a strong mental plan.
#1. People will ask you questions, or say things that you don’t want to hear or don’t expect. It’s likely that fans, friends, family members, judges, or the media will approach you at some point and try to converse with you. People are going to make weird comments, or ask you questions that you may not feel like answering. Are you going to let your confidence get shaken? Are you going to get annoyed, distracted or pissed off?
Have a game plan, and know how you’re going to deal with these situations. Do you feel comfortable ignoring people, putting your headphones in, keeping your eyes down, and simply saying “not right now” to people? Would you prefer to be short and sweet with your answers, and then get right back to what you were doing?
- I would suggest that you try to smile, stay positive, and be very direct and specific with your answers. You want to make sure that you’re talking about what you want to happen, and what you plan on doing to make sure you’re enjoying yourself and performing your best. Make sure you know how you can stay calm and focused regardless of what others are doing, saying, asking or yelling. You can not control what they say, but you can control how you respond (or if you respond).
- You can mentally rehearse responding to people who say things that could potentially “throw you off your game”. Practice doing this in your training, so that you’re comfortable responding when it really matters in a competition. Know what you want to say, and what type of body language you want to have when others are talking to you, asking you questions, or saying rude comments to you. Imagine the craziest thing that someone could ask or say to you, and prepare yourself so that you know how you want to respond, and what you will focus on to make sure you are calm and confident.
Stay tuned for #2
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