Maximize Performance by Overcoming These 3 Obstacles

There are many talented athletes that play sports, yet many never perform to the best of their ability on game day. Although there can be many causes for this, in this article we will focus on three of those obstacles. If not addressed, these obstacles can cause inconsistent performance, repeated failures, and even damage the long-term development of an athlete.

Game day performance can be negatively impacted by these 3 things

Distractions

There are many things that can distract an athlete on game day. Most of which are beyond their control. These include, but are not limited to, their position on the court, playing time, the opponent, fans, parents expectations, peer pressure, and fatigue. If any one of these distractions are present, they can affect performance. Imagine the detriment of multiple distractions at once. That makes it hard for anyone to play well.

  • The solution: Discipline. Control what you can control. Do what is right, give your best effort, make adjustments, and commit to being the best athlete you can be no matter the score or your role.


Emotions

Three factors in particular that interfere with stand out performance are fear, frustration and failure. These all lead to anger and disappointment. With any of these emotions taking over, athletes can become irrational, slow to respond, negative and less engaged.

  • The solutionMental agility. When adversity strikes on game day, the athlete who can most quickly adjust is the athlete that will perform best. Athletes who can adapt to new challenges in competition have better odds at making plays, learning lessons, and having fun.


Pressure

Pressure is a combination of the other two obstacles. An athlete under high pressure can begin to doubt their skillset and their performance will be impacted.

  • The solution: Preparation. When an athlete has time to mentally and physically prepare for game day, the pressures of competition are less likely to affect performance. All athletes will have different ways to get mentally and physically prepared. However, the end goal is the same. Arrive to your game, match, or race feeling strong, ready, and trusting in your power to achieve the goals you’ve set.

game day performance

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  1. My high school track coach often pointed out kids with “blank stares“, waiting in the paddock before their race. No matter their ability level The blank stares were a sure sign they were going to underperform in that race. A good way to avoid the blank stares is to focus on your breathing. Make sure you’re getting the right amount of oxygen prior to racing. Make eye contact with the people around you. If your teammates are there encourage each other with a hand shake.

    Another great way to deal with nerves on game day is to get into your best warm-up routine. It’s something familiar and essential. It takes your mind off of the competition, but at the same time get you literally ready for the competition.

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