Performance Anxiety is common to all competition. It’s especially prevalent among individual sports such as golf and tennis where the individual is the center of attention and doesn’t have anyone else that can be focused on. It’s as if they are on stage and almost everything they say and do is seen, heard and evaluated by others. The fear of making mistakes, not performing well enough and being negatively judged by others creates high levels of anxiety which often results in less than optimal performance.

Training in overcoming performance anxiety involves helping the athlete maintain positive self-esteem regardless of their performance or the match outcome. Learning to relax the body and quiet the mind can help keep focus and concentration at high levels.

Like other skills, mental skills require training by a professional (sports psychologist) and much practice to incorporate into competitive play. Mental skills are independent of physical, tactical and technical skills and should be taught and cultivated at the earliest stages for long term success.

Posted Tuesday, August 17th, 2010 at 12:24 am
Filed Under Category: Mental skills, sports
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