Does any of this sound familiar…you practice really poorly the week before competition, you bomb your short program, you pop everything on your warm-up. What do all of these scenarios have in common? They all induce high levels of frustration! Frustration is a difficult negative emotion to navigate for any athlete. Add the stress of competition to the mix and athletes are left with two choices:
- Shrink under pressure
- Rise up
Shrink under Pressure
You always have a choice. When you choose to shrink under the pressure and allow your moment to pass, you will be left feeling defeated and filled with regret. I am not sure which is worse! By shrinking under pressure you allow your past practices, mistakes, poor showings to dictate the trajectory of this new opportunity in time. This goes against all the mindfulness you have learned. You are essentially carrying the weight of the past into this moment. Every competition is a moment to prove to yourself what you can do. Seize the moment.
When you choose to rise, you let your frustration fuel your performance. You simply won’t allow another practice or performance to get the better of you. Through sheer determination and grit you push yourself to get the job done. I work with athletes that are very good at using their frustration to fuel their performance. I don’t encourage this kind of coping because I believe that you should not let yourself get to that point. Instead daily check ins and management of your emotions can help you maintain healthy equilibrium. However, if/when times get a little out of hand, digging deep and rising up is the best way to take back your performance and make it happen.
When you let your frustration fuel you to rise up you can come back from bad practices and disappointing run throughs. Know you always have a choice. Trust your training and that muscle memory you have honed overtime.
Until next time,
Keep your Brain in the Game!
Skaters, learn to LET GO OF MISTAKES and perform IN THE ZONE. Get my FREE Performance Mindset Worksheet