Controlling Your Emotions

Emotions run deep in sports. Fans are emotional. Coaches are emotional. Athletes are emotional.

For a young athlete, this emotional storm can cause huge cliffs and valleys in performance. Being emotional during competition is fine, but by being overly emotional athletes can negatively affect their performance.

Emotional Moments

Sports are inherently emotional events. The thrill of competition brings out the emotions of the athletes, with emotional energy being exerted internally, towards other athletes, and even towards the fans, coaches, and referees.

Here is a look at some common moments where an athlete may get overly emotional. Knowing these scenarios ahead of time can help you better prepare for them when the moment appears to be showing themselves:

  • Early on in a big game against a rival opponent
  • After making a mistake in a close game
  • When a referee makes a call that goes against your team in a big moment
  • When your coach yells about a mistake you made
  • After a teammate makes a play that yields negative results
  • If your opponent gloats or showboats after making a play
  • During a break in the action when your team is losing by a lot

This is just a short list of some of the things that may trigger overly emotional responses from athletes.

The reality is, every athlete will have certain things that tug at their emotions harder than it would for others.

That is all dependent on personality and values (which you can learn more about by discovering your Athlete Type!).

Remember to always keep your composure!

Managing Emotions During Competition

As a coach, it is part of the job to monitor and manage the emotional status of your athletes during competition. As a player though, you can do your own emotional regulation as well, which helps your coach and your team.

Managing emotions can be tricky business for a lot of athletes, which is why we see even professional athletes struggle with emotional moments.

The problem is, most athletes don’t know where to begin when it comes to managing emotions. Luckily, there is a simple four-step system you can use to help settle yourself down during competition.

The four steps are:

  1. Refocus
  2. Breathe
  3. Relax
  4. Visualize success

Obviously, all of these things are easier said than done in the heat of the moment, but mastering this process can really separate you from the pack in terms of mental performance during athletic competition.

You can learn more about each of the four steps mentioned above, as well as tailor them to your own strengths in weaknesses by going through the Mental Gym workout we have dedicated to controlling emotions.

Check out our Mental Gym workout on this exact topic by searching for it HERE.

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Featured Image: Photo by Vince Fleming on Unsplash

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