What you say to yourself matters. Henry Ford said:
whether you think you can or whether you think you cannot, you’re right.
In sports there are 3 defining challenging moments you’ll experience – pressure losing and mistakes. It’s inevitable. You’re not going to win every competition so knowing what to do in these 3 key moments will either propel you forward or drag you back.
In this blog let’s consider handling pressure.
Your mind drives your performance and actions. Imagine a finely tuned car, a super car ready to race and show the world what it’s capable of. It’s shiny exterior and powerful engine is ready for action.
But it needs a driver. It needs someone that understands the car like the back of their hand, someone whos in synch with the electronics and workings.
But the driver is nervous.
He’s cracked under pressure before and now with this brilliant car he feels even more pressure. There’s expectations from the team owner, his coach, the sponsors for him to win.
But he wants to give it a go. He says to himself this time will be different. This time he will win.
When we experience pressure one of two things will happen.
You either feel stress and anxiety or you thrive
Some people love pressure. They step up and take responsibility for what’s about to happen and can deal with the success or failure that follows.
Some shy away from pressure leaving the decisions to others.
When I was 15 a long time ago our school basketball team had come from 19 points down to tie the game in the national school final with just a few seconds remaining.
I drove to the basket, jumped and was fouled and hit the floor. 2 free throws to come but as I went to get up off the floor, I couldn’t! My legs were tight and I had no idea what was going on!
Turns out I had cramp. I’d never had cramp before so I was panicked but after my assistant coach helped me I stood up and composed myself. If I missed it would leave the door open for the opponents. If I made them, we’d have the advantage. I went to the free throw line and nailed both go give us a 2 point lead which helped us win the game.
This was my first experience with pressure and I was balanced calm and focused and carried that perspective forward ever since.
Pressure is a perspective of your situation and those that thrive welcome those moments.
How do you perceive pressure?