OVERCOMING ANXIETY ON COMPETITION DAY

Competition day. The culmination of weeks, months, even years of hard work and preparation. But as the moment draws near, instead of excitement, you feel a knot of anxiety tightening in your stomach. The fear of failure, the pressure to perform, the uncertainty of the outcome—these thoughts swirl in your mind, threatening to undermine your confidence and derail your performance. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Many novice weightlifters experience anxiety during competitions, but the good news is, it’s a challenge that can be overcome. Today, we’ll explore practical strategies to help you manage and conquer competition anxiety, allowing you to perform at your best when it matters most.

Understanding Competition Anxiety

Competition anxiety manifests differently for everyone, but common symptoms include nervousness, tension, and self-doubt. It’s that feeling of butterflies in your stomach, the racing heart, and the nagging voice in your head telling you that you’re not good enough. But here’s the thing: those feelings are completely normal. Most people experience some level of anxiety before competing, but it’s how you manage that anxiety that makes all the difference.

Strategies for Managing Anxiety

1. Mental Preparation: One of the most effective ways to combat competition anxiety is through mental preparation. Visualization techniques, positive self-talk, and relaxation exercises can help calm your nerves and build confidence leading up to competition day. Take time to visualize yourself executing perfect lifts, feeling strong and confident, and overcoming any obstacles that may arise.

2. Focus on the Process: Instead of fixating on the outcome of the competition, focus on the process of your performance. Set process goals that are within your control, such as maintaining proper technique, staying present in the moment, and giving your best effort on each lift. By shifting your focus away from external pressures and onto the task at hand, you can alleviate some of the pressure and anxiety.

3. Develop a Pre-Competition Routine: Establishing a pre-competition routine can help create a sense of familiarity and control in the midst of chaos. Whether it’s a specific warm-up routine, a series of mobility exercises, or a set of mental preparation rituals, having a routine can help calm your nerves and prepare you for the challenges ahead.

4. Utilize Stress Management Techniques: When anxiety strikes, it’s important to have a toolkit of stress management techniques at your disposal. Deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness meditation can help reduce physiological arousal and promote a calm, focused state of mind. Experiment with different techniques to see what works best for you.

Building Confidence and Resilience

Building confidence and resilience is key to overcoming competition anxiety. Surround yourself with supportive teammates and coaches who believe in your abilities and encourage you to reach your full potential. Reflect on past successes and accomplishments to remind yourself of your capabilities and strengths. And above all, maintain a growth mindset, viewing challenges as opportunities for growth and learning rather than insurmountable obstacles.

Remember, this is a long journey and process in learning a skill. It takes time to build up your confidence and over time you will develop stronger and stronger ways to deal with nerves. Keep competing, keep learning and stay focused on the task at hand. If you don’t have a Coach, find one immediately! It will speed up the process and help you avoid making the same mistakes.

Ready to take your weightlifting journey to the next level? We have 2 open spots for our next training cycle, and we’d love to work with you to help you overcome anxiety and achieve your goals. Book a Free No-Sweat Intro with us today to learn more and get started on your path to success. Click here to book your spot now.

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