September 17, 2016

How to get over nervousness right before competition!

I have many techniques for getting over nervousness and today I will share one technique that you have probably never heard before today.

This technique is called “It’s an AND world.”

This is a very effective technique to use when it’s time to perform and you are feeling pressure, tense, anxious and nervous.

This tactic is about embracing the nervousness AND still performing.

From a Biology point of view, pressure, nervous, frustration, anger, fear, are nothing more than chemical releases in the body. I’m talking about chemicals that your body naturally produces. The chemicals attach onto the cells of your body and tell the cells to do something.  That “do something” is a feeling, like tightening of the muscles, shaking, etc… When your muscles are tight you can’t perform to your highest level.

Gymnastics team with medals

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So, here’s one way to deal with the chemicals released in your body.  Here is what you DO WANT to do.

Next time you feel the nervousness, don’t fear the chemicals, and instead, “AND” them like this: Say to something like this to yourself, “Wow, look at that, that’s interesting…I’m feeling some chemicals of fear right this moment…muscles a little tense, my heart is beating a little faster, I’m breathing a little heavier, huh….AND I’m going to make this shot, complete this move, while feeling them.”

It’s about being aware of the chemicals, embracing the FEELING, reframing and some self talk.

You see, it’s the mental resistance to your chemicals (and the bodily reaction you get from them) that is a huge part of what actually interferes with your performance.  It’s Fear of the Fear itself.

Here is a suggestion of what you DO NOT want to say to yourself. “I’m so nervous right now, this always happens to me.  Ok, I need to just calm myself down right now or I won’t be able to perform.” The problem with that is you are fighting your natural bodily responses which creates even more tension and tightness.

If you are in a high-pressured situation, already feeling those pressure chemicals that were released in your body, there is no amount of breathing deeper or telling yourself to calm down that’s going to send those chemicals back to where they came from so that you calm down and perform at the level that you want to perform. That takes time that you don’t have at the moment.

Instead, as explained above, the best you can do at that point is to go with them.
Again, here’s the attitude that you want to have…”I’m feeling some awesome volleyballchemicals at this amazing moment in my sports career.

Bring it on, I got this.  I will feel these chemicals AND score this point while feeling them.”

You probably wouldn’t guess it, but there are many stories about top elite athletes who were scared to death and shaking in their shoes AND performed brilliantly.  You can channel that energy and direct the feelings into laser-beam focus. High energy like that is fuel for extreme focus.
The great thing about the mental game, unlike your physical game…is that you can work on it anywhere! Everywhere!
Have some fun with this!  Practice and teach yourself to feel your chemicals.  Practice feeling your released chemicals AND still doing what you need to do while feeling them.   You can train yourself to be able to do it under pressure for your sport, just the same.  Practice, Practice, and Practice!

The cool thing, the “And World” technique works for all emotions.  For example, there are times in sports when your opponent does something to get to you and you get angry, maybe even a little trash talking?  This is when you know you need to keep your cool so you do not let it affect your play!  That’s when you AND it.

This is helpful in your regular life as well. Can you think of times in your regular life where you feeling angry from actions of others?  Are you open to using the “And world”  during those times?  Just think, after awhile, you will have such awareness about your emotions and feelings, instead of fighting them, you will learn to embrace them and AND them.  That’s what overall emotional mastery is all about.

Want to get started right now on playing to your potential? Call me now and we’ll see if you are a good candidate for my R.A.C.E. Formula process.

You got this!

Cheryl Rode
Mental Toughness Trainer


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