How to combat fear, anxiety, and emotion whilst performing under pressure?
Pre-competition routines before and during
The first aim is to make sure you have done as much preparation as you possibly can before you arrive at your event, so you know there was nothing more within your power that you could have done.
Manage those expectations levels; you can’t magic a performance out of thin air, if the pre-competition preparations have been disturbed, in any way for any reasons set the expectation level accordingly.
Staying focused by not getting distracted, really focus on upcoming performance, anything that’s irrelevant, and anything out of your control, FORGET IT.
Look down at your feet wherever there are at that time, be in that place.
Visualise what you want to achieve play the whole process through in your head with a positive result, stopping any anxious thoughts that pop into your head.
Performing under pressure
Performing under pressure, this can be achieved more successfully by practicing the whole process from beginning to end.
Practice in a pressured environment making practice hard.
Everything has to be done with a confident body language with purpose; you are trying to create inevitability by practising this.
Self-talk before the shot, for example ‘this is going in’ putting this in the process as a motivational outcome, a control of excitement/anxiety or an instructional focus all of these can help towards controlling excitement/anxiety.
‘I can react quicker this time’ – the process of completing the task
‘I can beat my best score’ – motivation towards a positive outcome of the task
‘I will stay calm’ – the control of excitement/anxiety during the task
‘I will focus completely on each number I need to find’ – instructional guidance for the task
Focus on process and outcome can be the most effective use of self-talk
One final thing is that with all this - The technique cannot be ignored though, that has to be repeatable, and can you repeat this shot under pressure.