Stress can do a number of things to people. It can cause us to crumble, and on the other hand it can drive us to perform above and beyond our expectations.
The more often I watch athletes in critical situations the more I realise that the ones who seem to endure are the ones who are able to embrace it. They are solid in challenging times and continually come back to processes and narrowing their focus.
Here are 5 tips to handle stress.
Accept that stress will come weather you like it or not.
Stress should be an expectation. We think we are strong enough to deal with it when it comes, but sometimes it sneaks up upon us in times when we least expect it and respond with thoughts like, “Why do I have to deal with this NOW!”
When we accept that problems and undesirable situations are inevitable we are able to devote a mindset and an attitude to accept the challenge and to use our skills to move forward.
You cannot change the circumstances, but you can always change your approach.
Positive Self Talk
Negative self talk is a silent assassin. The worst part is that most people don’t even recognise they do it. I use to use a small reminder of tapping my forehead when I said or thought something negative. Being aware of it I would then replace it with a positive comment. These situations are particularly important for athletes who train often on their own. If you execute something well, reward yourself by giving yourself praise. Even if bystanders think your crazy, “Great job, that was much better!”
“Yep, I liked that one”
Stand by your choices
Stress can cause us to play the victim for bad choices and bad circumstances. From the time you rise, during your training and in your down time everything is a choice. Say NO to things that you don’t want to do and accept responsibility for your behaviour and your performances. Excuses are irrelevant, whats done is done, stand tall and stand by your choices!
Use Stress to build strength
Having a realistic and honest outlook helps us to always find the positives in all situations. With this attitude we can use stressful circumstances to become stronger and smarter. It should not allow us to become bitter, helpless victims.
Deliberately putting ourselves in uncomfortable scenarios can bring out performances that help us achieve new goals and break limiting barriers.
Understanding process gives us the ability to put things in appropriate perspective. When we become fixated completely on performance outcomes we risk creating catastrophes out of minor setbacks. Athletes who are in the midst of hard work are able to reduce their expectations for peak performances and understand where they are on their development timeline. This helps to ensure focus on key areas and believe strongly in a periodisation plan.
How do you manage stressful situations?
Do you have specific coping mechanisms to overcome them?
Share your comments and tips by using the hashtag #HPshare