How To Perform Better Under Pressure

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Did you happen to see last week’s Sunday night football game with the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals?  Well, if not, there is no need to watch the entire game because it was not very exciting but the part that I did find to be exciting to watch was the over time.  At the end of regulation play, the game was tied 3-3 so they went into overtime.  During over time, BOTH teams had an opportunity to win the game by kicking a field goal and BOTH teams missed the field goal resulting in a tie game which rarely happens.  I was shocked and amazed that both kickers missed the field goals but then I thought more about and realized how much pressure they were under to make the field goal and I was wondering if the intense amount of pressure on them negatively impacted their performance?


What To Do:

You don’t have to be a professional athlete to know what it feels like to perform under pressure.

Here are a few tips to help you perform better under pressure:

Use relaxation and breathing exercises to help relax your body. A great way to do that is through using Belly Breathing.  Belly Breathing is different because you breathe while expanding your belly rather than your chest.  You can download an app to your smartphone to help you learn how to Belly Breath and guide you through a breathing exercise.  A great app to try is Breathe 2 Relax.

Once you have worked on calming your body, you now need to work on calming your mind. There are several ways to do this. Try these tips:

Distract your mind away from thinking about feeling nervous to perform. You can try counting along with your breathing as you inhale and exhale.  You can also imagine yourself in a place that is relaxing and tranquil for you, maybe the beach or imagine yourself hiking on a sunny day.

Say positive affirmations to yourself. You can say things like, “I can do this,” or “I’ve prepared myself for this.”  Try to develop a list of positive affirmations that you can say to yourself prior to performing so you have a list you can choose from rather than having to think of them on the spot.

Visualize yourself performing and performing successfully. If you can imagine yourself performing successfully, it makes it more likely that you will succeed.


What NOT To Do:

Do NOT think of failing or say to yourself, “What if I fail?”  Thinking about failure is going to potentially set you up to fail before you have even performed.



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