Honors Blog #2

Athlete Anxiety

The end of October is approaching us fast and many may feel overwhelmed and wanting to shut down. It is the Seniors at this time that feel as they are hopeless. We are required to stay on top of College applications and essays, all while staying on top of all our homework and performing well on tests. For student athletes this work load drastically increases as they expected to perform well as a student and athlete. Athletes now seem as if the air is further thinning as their time between practices and performances is barely existent, as a result leaving no time for homework and most importantly College responsibilities. After watching various youtube videos I have found that anxiety can not only affect athletes in school, but in their performance.

For many High School and College athletes, a condition of Pregame Anxiety exist. This type of anxiety is focused around mental thoughts that the athlete themselves experiences. It demonstrates that no matter how hard an athlete could train and practice, if they think it then they can believe it. For an example, if a certain athlete constantly underestimates themselves and focuses on all the negatives that could potentially occur, they seem to under perform once it is time to compete. Mental preparation has became a technique which coaches are incorporating as part of their practices to prepare their athletes. 

I personally can vouch for this technique as our coach for swimming strongly supports visualization and mental preparation. During swim season the 10 athletes which are chosen for Sectionals and not only physically prepared, but mentally. We undergo a variety of mental preparations that help us believe in ourselves and all that we are capable of doing. One technique which we practice is listening to a daytime and night time subliminal visualization. This recording is a male talking and works best when you are relaxed and laying. The tape offers a variety of confidence boosts that teaches us to avoid down thinking ourselves and our performance. This way when it is time to go and compete we are confident in ourselves and don’t later under perform. 

Techniques vary similar to that of which we practice at Leyden are used by athletes everywhere to avoid under performance caused by anxiety. A few reasons why athletes stress is as follows: pressure created by Coaches, fear of letting team or parents down, worrying about how they’ll compare to fellow teammates. It is very common for athletes to undergo stress and they should try to minimize it as all costs as it can ruin their results. 

Link to night subliminal videos I listen to before sectionals to help avoid pregame anxiety: