Competition days are nerve-wracking, to say the least. And no matter if it’s your first one or your hundredth competition, the nerves will never completely go away. However, it is always helpful to learn some tips, tricks, and tactics that will help you prepare for the big day, keep the nerves at bay as much as possible and make sure you are giving your maximum. Here are some of them.
Competition is going to make you feel stressed; that is just unavoidable. However, understanding stress is essential because it will allow you to tame it and make it work for you instead of against you. A small amount of stress can energize you and give you a rush of adrenaline, which can benefit your performance. It is essential not to let stress turn into anxiety and consume you. Accept the presence of stress and turn it into excitement for new, potential wins, not fear of potential losses.
You should reduce the length and intensity of your physical training the day before the big competition, in order to avoid last-minute injury and over-working your body. Your body should be fully rested before the big competition in order to maximize performance. A rested body will be able to perform much better, which will bring on better results.
Make your peace with the fact that morning of the competition is going to be stressful and pretty hectic and that you are going to be nervous. In order to avoid adding to that stress by rushing and forgetting important things that you need for that day, you should always prepare and organize them the day before the competition day. Make a checklist of things that you need to bring with you and tick them off one by one once they are inside your bag. This will help put your mind at ease, and it will help you focus on what matters: doing your best and winning!
Sometimes, we do not even register the way we talk to ourselves, especially in stressful situations. Before the competition, the narrative in your head needs to be purposeful, positive, and mindful because that will set you up for success. Avoid talking down to yourself, and avoid negative, dark thoughts of failure. You should talk yourself through the competition day in an uplifting and positive way, even if it does not go your way.
Success always begins with having a goal, both in sports and in life. Once the competition day comes, your big goal is to win. That is why you should visualize yourself accomplishing that. Before the big game or race, picture yourself winning and wearing the highly coveted gold medal. Moreover, if you want to make the visualization of winning even more powerful, write affirmations, and draw goal pictures. This approach will give you more motivation and drive to do your best and win indeed.
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