Updated: Jul 21, 2022
You find that you get nervous, anxious, and a certain way, going into big games, or any game for that matter?
That is precisely where you should be, and I will explain why. The modern man calls nervous simply your body reacting to heightened emotion. This level of heightened emotion is necessary for peak performance. So we're already on the right track.
However, when we reach these heightened emotions just as they peak, our body translates them as nervous or excited.
We want to be excited rather than nervous, but it is essential to understand that the two emotions are very closely related. So much so that this little shift which we will get into will allow you to change a nervous state to an excited state, optimal for peak performance.
So what the hell is it? What hack will get me to show up the way I want every game?
Stress and confidence are directly correlated to one another.
When stress levels are high, confidence levels drop. And it works exactly the other way around, and when stress levels are low, confidence levels are high.
So the real question and the gem to this shift in mindset is what causes my stress levels to go up and down?
Well, it's pretty simple. When we focus on things that are out of our control, what we like to call Uncontrollables, our stress level rises. This causes our Confidence level to drop, leading to poor performance.
When we focus on what we CAN control, what we call Controllables, our stress levels go down. This results in higher levels of confidence which results in good performances.
The challenge is to understand what is in your control and, more importantly, what is not.
When you look at these two lists, one of them you can do something about, the other you have no chance.
When going into games, pre-game warm-up, and in the game itself, you will recognize that your mind will naturally shift to responding to Uncontrollable. Your ability to stop this and immediately recognize what you can control simplifies the situation. Your brain will reply far better to this and send the proper signals to the rest of your body, allowing you to do what you know to do the best you can.
This takes repetition, but with time you will be making a shift and notice that you are no longer nervous but rather excited. And from that place, your mind and body are aligned and ready for peak performance.