Anxiety before a competition is a common phenomenon among athletes. Learn to fight it before competing.

All athletes should have resources to avoid anxiety during a competition. Nerves can play a trick on anyone, but this evil can be prevented as long as the athlete acquires coping skills.

It is normal that before an important competition you feel a state of restlessness or restlessness. Ultimately this means that the event is important to the person. However, uncontrolled stress states are an obstacle to good performance.

Anxiety negatively impairs optimal performance. Firstly, because it excessively tenses the muscles and makes correct motor control difficult. In addition, anxiety generates negative thoughts about oneself, which reduces one’s confidence.

For all these reasons, below we will see how to avoid anxiety during a competition.

Establish pre-competitive routines

Pre-competitive routines allow you to combat anxiety.

An essential aspect of performing in the best state of mind is having a set of pre-competition routines that run automatically.

The establishment of routines and habits is a simple technique but with a lot of psychological power. Routines induce peace of mind because by performing a series of tasks that are familiar, uncertainty is reduced.

In addition, they favor the concentration of the athlete before competing. According to a study carried out by the University of La Sabana, pre-competitive routines are necessary to regulate the levels of activation, coordination and attention of the athlete before facing a competition.

Controls the physical symptoms of anxiety

Anxiety is a complex state that is accompanied by physical symptoms. Increased heart rate, rapid and short breathing, increased sweating and muscle tension are the most common symptoms caused by stress.

On the other hand, the perception of these symptoms increases anxiety. That is, if the athlete realizes that he is nervous, it is likely that his stress level will increase. 

To prevent this from happening, you have to act directly on the symptoms that cause anxiety . Breathing techniques, such as diaphragmatic breathing, are the best option to restore a state of calm and calm.

Do not stop working on self-confidence

On numerous occasions, anxiety before a competition has its origin in the insecurity of the athlete. Doubts about one’s abilities or lack of experience can generate the dreaded nerves before a competition.

Self-confidence is essential to increase sports performance.

Therefore, boosting self-confidence is a way to go out and compete relaxed and with nothing to fear. Working on this aspect requires constant and daily work on the part of the athlete . Its fruits do not appear overnight, but the most lasting advances are those that are built little by little.

An excellent way to increase self-confidence is to write down all your strengths as an athlete on a piece of paper and post it in a visible place. An important feature about this list is that it has to be extensive enough and include physical, technical, tactical, and psychological aspects.

Learn to focus attention only on what matters

Staying focused on the important aspects is a vitally important aspect during a competition. However, given the large number of stimuli present, the athlete can be distracted and lose track of what is happening on the court.

The distractions can be momentary and have no major repercussions, the problem is if the athlete is not able to mentally return to the competition and is carried away by the distractors.

Also, the origin of the distractor can be both external and internal. Many times only the role of external agents is taken into account, such as the public, the referee, or the weather conditions, in the attention. But the thoughts you have during a competition, especially the negative ones, are also a very powerful source of distraction.

Free yourself from anxiety to give your best version

Of all the psychological variables that influence performance, arousal control is the most basic and fundamental. If you don’t know how to control your nerves before a competition, the rest of the processes, such as attention or decision-making, will not work correctly.

Therefore, avoiding anxiety before a competition should be a priority objective for any athlete, regardless of their age or level of performance. In fact, in an investigation carried out by the University of Malaga, it is stated that the better adjustment of the level of activation, the greater sports performance. With all this, do not ignore those nerves and act to eliminate them!

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