Game Day Performance Anxiety Solutions

The following post is an excerpt from Emotional Aptitude In Sports NOW available through most on-line retailers!  Click Here to Order


Game Day Performance Anxiety Solutions


  • Arrive early, stretch and undergo a thorough physical warm up routine.
  • Recognize that pre-event anxiety is normal. Excess adrenaline can be burnt off by going for a run before competition.
  • Prepare mentally and emotionally by visualizing your peak performance plays and patterns.
  • Discuss performance goals and not outcome goals. Performance goals include running the correct plays and patterns the moment demands. Outcome goals include the ramifications of winning or losing. By pre-setting the correct performance-based state of mind, athletes have a much greater chance of performing in the zone.
  • Avoid poor performances by utilizing proper nutrition and hydration.


During the Event:

  • Focus on your performance goals rather than the outcome of the event.
  • Choose to stay in your optimal performance state of mind.
  • Fake it until it becomes natural. Replace negative thoughts with positive visualization.
  • Perform in the matter you’ve been trained and to choose to stay on your performance script for the duration of the event.


Post Event:

  • Relax and recover. An athlete needs to recuperate. Downtime wards off burnout and is essential for long-term progress.
  • Review the event when emotionally ready to accept constructive criticism. Juniors, remember that the game is an information gathering mission to aid you in long term growth.
  • Agree upon a time to review the performance and make a developmental action plan to improve strengths and weaknesses.


Positive Game Day Inner Dialog for Athletes

Staying on your script requires constant positive self-talk.  In the heat of competition, an empty mind is susceptible to becoming contaminated with unwanted, negative thoughts. Staying in your optimal, peak performance state of mind requires the management of your inner dialog/thoughts. Positive dialog examples include:

  • I’m Shooting For Excellence, Not Perfection
  • I’ve Got Strokes, Athleticism, Mental & Emotional Skills
  • I’m So Grateful That I Get to Participate
  • I’m Performance Oriented Not Outcome Oriented
  • I Love Solving Problems in Competition
  • I’ll Walk into the Club Like I Own the Place
  • I’ve Morphed into An Athletic Warrior
  • I Admire My Courage to Compete
  • My Optimism Is Contagious
  • This Is My Favorite Part of the Week


I suggest picking a few positive statements from the above list and rehearse your own inner dialog. Research shows that performing in the future, as the “Alpha Competitor,” stems from continuously, nurturing your inner belief. Emotional aptitude is a learned behavior.  An athlete’s optimism and growth mindset should be molded daily.


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