Do you experience nerves, jitters, anxiousness, or the sudden urge to pee right as a workout or competition is about to start? It seems as if certain times bring about more anxiety than others - Open workouts, benchmarks, partner WODs, and competition all tend to bring on additional nerves than your everyday workout. Sometimes it only takes one movement that makes us uncomfortable to throw us into a tailspin before we start a workout. Ultimately, pre-workout jitters are normal and expected if you care about your performance. If you didn’t care, you would have no reason to worry. When you set a goal or expectation for yourself, your body’s nervousness is actually gearing up to help you get there! Here are a few ways to combat your competition anxiety:
- Believe in yourself. Trust that the work you have put in through your training. Believe that your fitness is prepared for the task at hand. Use positive self-talk to affirm that you will get through it and that you will come out stronger on the other side.
- Keep your routine. There is no reason to change your normal warm up or routine for a particular workout or competition. Your body is used to the specific exercises and stretches you use to warm up and get ready in every day training. Keep your routine to stay calm, focused, and prepared!
- Have a plan. If you have doubts or nerves about a specific workout, start by drafting up some strategy. Knowing how you’re going to attack a workout gives you a game plan to focus on. Instead of dreading certain pieces of the workout, you can put all of your energy into executing your plan!
- Embrace the butterflies. Competition is stressful and we biologically need to prepare ourselves for this stress. Butterflies are the body's way of getting extra oxygen to our lungs and blood to our limbs before it faces an oxygen debt in the midst of competition. Choose to fight when your body goes into fight-or-flight mode and crush your task!
- Enjoy the moment. At the end of the day, it’s just fitness and just another workout. Enjoy the moment by taking a second to look around and feel the energy of the environment. Regardless of the outcome, have fun!