How do you handle pressure? Do you
relish the big game, the moment when your team depends on you. Or does it
make you so nervous you can hardly play?
All players feel nervous before a
game. Some of that is natural and a good thing – being nervous generates
adrenaline, gets you pumped for the game. Those are good nerves.
But for some people, those nerves
don’t vanish when you step out onto the pitch. In fact, they start hours
before the game and get worse. Does this sound at all familiar:
“As the match gets closer, thoughts
and images become increasingly negative. You notice that these thoughts are
occurring more regularly, and you don’t seem, to be able to stop them. You
don’t enjoy this! It’s possible you start worrying about being worried.
These feelings don't leave you when the game starts.”
These “bad” nerves tend to fall
into three different categories:
– about the challenge ahead (e.g. I hate playing at this field – I
never do well here)
– about being unable to cope (e.g. I don’t have the speed to handle
worries – about the future (e.g. if we lose here, we’re certain to go
You can learn to handle each of