Professional Athletes and Stress: How They Cope
The game is on the line. There are just few seconds remaining on the clock and this last shot will determine who the champion is and who goes home a loser. The intensity of a million fans watching at the game and on TV is mounting. The shot is up, swivels around the net and rolls in the basket. Could you handle that?
Professional athletes are just like the rest of us. They get stressed out too, but they have some key strategies so no matter how tense things get, they are always ready to perform.
Harness the Power of Stress
If you are going to be stressed out, might as well use it to your advantage. Unlike most of us, athletes welcome stress. They see it as a challenge and something to give them the fuel they need to endure their harsh challenges. It is all about the attitude so instead of letting it slow you down, use this adrenaline to push yourself towards better results.
It’s All in the Routine
Again stress is just something that we feel inside our heads. When people ask the greatest athletes like Michael Jordan and Usain Bolt, how they deal with stress, they say it all goes back to fundamentals.
Those little mantras your coach says to you a million times, go a long way. Nothing but net, it’s all in the footwork and so on. These little things can calm you down so that instead of focusing on the massive crowd around you, it is just you and the game.
Believe in Yourself
Even star athletes make mistakes. Jordan occasionally missed, Federer occasionally double faulted, it happens to the best. When normal people make mistakes, they let them those mistakes eat at them. A couple of mistakes in a row, the confidence is totally shot and we have already given up hope that we can win. This is a mistake!
The greatest athletes always have confidence in themselves. They can make ten mistakes in a row and still believe that the next serve or next shot is going to be perfect. And that works! They don’t let negative energy cloud their thoughts and for that reason, they never stay down.
This is the most important thing you should be doing. The big game or tournament should not feel like something you dread. You should be excited to show off your talents and be ready to do what you do best. Think like a dancer and move through the challenge with smoothness and ease. Smile a little. Remember, at the end of the day, this is not about the fans or the trophies, but about pushing yourself to be the best you can be.
Stress: It’s a Good Thing
So the next time an obstacle comes your way, whether it’s on the field or in the office, take a deep breath, smile and think to yourself, “I got this” because you do!