Don’t Let Fear Affect Your Game

By Stanley Popovich, BASN Contributor
Updated: May 24, 2010

KENTUCKY (BASN) — Sometimes, fear and anxiety can get the best of us in sports.

The key is to know how to manage that fear and anxiety. As a result, here is a brief list of techniques that an athlete can use to help manage their fears and every day anxieties.

Occasionally, you may become stressed when you have to play in an important round.

When this happens, visualize yourself doing the task in your mind. For instance, you have to play in the championship golf game in front of a large group of people in the next few days.

Before the big day comes, imagine yourself playing the game in your mind. Imagine that you are playing in front of a large audience. By playing the game in your mind, you will be better prepared to perform for real when the time comes.

Self-Visualization is a great way to reduce the fear and stress of a coming situation.

Sometimes we get stressed out when everything happens all at once. When this happens, a person should take a deep breath and try to find something to do for a few minutes to get their mind off of the problem.

A person could read the newspaper, listen to some music or do an activity that will give them a fresh perspective on things. This is a great technique to use right before your next game.

Another technique that is very helpful is to have a small notebook of positive statements that you can carry around with you. Whenever you come across an affirmation that makes you feel good, write it down in a small notebook that you can carry around with you.

Whenever you feel stressed, open up your small notebook and read those statements.

This will help to manage your negative thinking.

In every anxiety-related situation you experience, begin to learn what works, what doesn’t work, and what you need to improve on in managing your fears and anxieties. For instance, you have a lot of anxiety and you decide to take a small walk before your game to help you feel better.

The next time you feel anxious you can remind yourself that you got through it the last time by taking a walk. This will give you the confidence to manage your anxiety the next time around.

Take advantage of the help that is available around you. If possible, talk to a professional who can help you manage your fears and anxieties. They will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem.

By talking to a professional, a person will be helping themselves in the long run because they will become better able to deal with their problems in the future.

Remember that it never hurts to ask for help.

Remember that patience, persistence, and education will go a long way in preventing fear from becoming a factor in your game.