Everyone gets nervous from time to time and feeling nervous before a big match or tryout isn’t a problem. It only becomes a problem when your nervous take over the situation and hold you back from playing great.
The key is to train yourself that nerves are good and allow your nervousness to provide positive energy. Try to equate the physical feeling of nerves, into a positive thing. Remind yourself that something good is going to happen.
The first piece of advice I can offer you is to be prepared for whatever you’re up against. If it’s a tryout, make sure you have put in a lot of time and practice before you show up. Any skill that makes you uncomfortable, you should practice twice as much. Being prepared will help calm your nerves.
If you’re nervous about a match, learn what you can about your opponent and develop personal and team goals. Understand the game plan and spend time practicing it.
Nervous About A Skill
Some people are fine most of the time, but then get nervous if they have to serve or something like that. If this is you, then mentally walk yourself through the steps and keys to being successful. Give yourself a specific reminder such as “drag my toe when I serve”.
Nervous about match
If you’re nervous about a specific match coming up. Remind yourself you’re playing against a team that is the same level as you. The players on the other side of the net go through the same feelings you do, and deal with similar situations.
A Few Keys To Calm Nerves
Visualize Success - take control of the situation in your head. See a positive play before it happens.
Breathe - Take deep breathes before the game and when you’re feeling flustered during the game. Breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth.
Remind yourself that many other people are nervous too. People aren’t spending all their time thinking about you and how you perform. They are much more concerned about themselves. Lastly, what’s the worst that’s gonna happen? I mean really. WAAAAYYY back in the day, like a couple thousand years ago, if you lost a sport, you may be killed on the spot.
Thankfully, we don’t treat out athletes that way anymore. You’re not competing for your life. You’re hopefully competing for fun, or maybe if the stakes are a little higher, your competing for a scholarship or maybe even a state title, but at the end of the day, win or lose, the body of work you put in, long term, will matter more than the moment.
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