Competition is a wonderful thing. It makes us feel alive and challenged. When we’re successful, it can make us happy. It also prepares us for things that happen in our everyday lives ranging from school to work projects. For most people, the problem with competition is that it brings out their nerves and causes stress. We worry about something going wrong or not performing our best. Keeping your cool during competition season is possible. Here’s how.
Keeping Your Cool During Competition Season | Purple Moss Teams
Focus on the “Now”
When you let your mind jump to the future or wander back to the past, then you may start to feel more nervous. To remain cool during competition season, train your brain to stay in the “now.” This means that you’re not spending the time before a competition focusing on the upcoming event and how important it is to you. Instead, you’re holding your attention on each play or routine as they happen. We know that focusing on the “now” is easier said than done. It requires practice. When you notice your thoughts drifting away from what’s going on in the moment, return them back to the present time. The more you do it, the easier and more automatic it gets.
To perform your best, have fun. Enjoyment really is the secret ingredient to keeping your cool during a competition. You will be more likely to falter and criticize yourself for faltering if you get too serious about competing or put too much pressure on it. Have fun with your fellow teammates before the competition, or if you’re a solo competitor, then do something fun before it’s your turn to compete.
Remember, Your Response is up to You
We have little control over our feelings. What we have control over is how we respond to them. So, while you may not be able to think your way out of feeling anxiety before a competition, you may be able to change how you respond to those anxious feelings. Notice how you automatically respond to stressful situations and look for ways to change that response if it’s impacting your performance in a negative way. Some people perform better when they’re stressed. This means that you might have to embrace and welcome your body’s response. Either way, being mindful will help you notice feelings, thoughts and sensations, allowing you to deal with them. Seeing them for what they are can help you avoid getting caught up by them.
Keeping Your Cool During Competition Season is Tough but Doable
Keeping your cool during competition season requires a little extra effort. Look for ways to be mindful about how you’re feeling, stay present and most importantly, have fun.