So, let me paint you a picture. It’s the morning before your big game, and as you’re getting ready, you start to have this weird feeling in the pit of your stomach (you know, those “butterflies”) and as you're traveling to the field, those feelings start to intensify. You can hear your heart racing!!!
You’re telling yourself “I’m not good enough” “What if I don't win?” “What if I don't perform well?” “What will other people think?”. When you get to the venue and you start to warm up, all of those different thoughts start to get worse and worse, to the point of it almost paralyzing you. What I’ve just described is called “performance anxiety”. It’s actually a very normal thing to experience, especially when you’re doing something that is meaningful to you and you’re wanting to do well, but when it starts to interfere with your performance then it could become a problem.
Even the most elite athletes like Erling Haaland experience pre-game jitters.
“Yeah, I’m just as nervous as everybody else in this world. I don’t have to hide that I'm nervous. I’m sometimes anxious, but I think that's part of life. I think it’s about still being focused while you’re nervous.”
Erling Haaland knows that the key is to not avoid the anxious feelings, but to embrace them and turn them into a source of strength.
Haaland has a method to embracing his performance anxiety and using it to his advantage:
Never try to stop your feelings and emotions. Accept those feelings and know that it’s just a part of performing consistently. Use it to channel your focus to increase your performance.
Reappraising Stress: Pretend the stress is the water from the river, you're the river, so you must be in control of the water within (aka the stress) in order to use it to your advantage!
Stay present oriented: If you let your thoughts about the negative consequences of missing, that is going to hinder your ability to execute your best shot. If you only think about the present, then you don't have the opportunity to be overcome with performance anxiety.
Get Sufficient Sleep: Sleep studies show that a sleepless night can raise your anxiety levels by 30%. Sleep is essential for both physical and mental health. Many pro-athletes are getting 8-10 hours per night. This ensures fewer mood swings and just better stress management on and off the field.
Performance anxiety - We all feel it, but guess what? It’s all about perspective. Fear of not making expectations? Flip it! Every mistake, every missed shot, is a step towards greatness. You’re getting better. You're learning. It’s not about perfection, it's about progress. Embrace the process. It’s not just the outcome. You’re in the game to grow, not just to win. So, next time you're on that field, remember: It’s YOUR journey, YOUR progress, so play YOUR GAME.
Here at FuturElitez, we offer Mindset Training for groups and individuals, hosted by our Founder, Parsa Izadpanah - Designed to help players of all ages and skill levels improve their mental game.
We work with our players to develop a strong and positive mindset by bringing special guests like Sports Psychologists, College & Pro Soccer Players to share their story. We strive to target and overcome player challenges so they can stay focused on their goals.
Overall, our players will learn the psychological aspects of soccer and how to overcome mental blocks that will be encountered on and off the soccer pitch. We highly encourage all players to try out our Mindset Training, Message us "Mindset Training" to: (703) 688-2759 to learn more!
Check out the link below for further information and easy on-line registrations.
p.s. if you're looking for more than just a session or two, make sure to message us and we can work out a package deal for you!