Dealing With Performance Anxiety

Note: I sent an email to our subscribers asking them questions about how to improve the blog and things for us to write about. Dealing with performance anxiety was one of the questions that got asked.

So how do you deal with performance anxiety?

You simply prepare, stay in the present, and control the controllable.

Prepare

“Fear is simply the anticipation that something that’s going to happen soon and needs to be prepared for” – Tony Robbins.

If you are prepared you shall not fear. Preparation is key to creating confidence. Put your time in and get your reps up in whatever you do and when the time comes to perform your fear will leave and you will be ready to perform with confidence. High preparation = high confidence. Low preparation = equals anxiety. Prepare and get your work in and let the muscle memory and confidence do the work. Make the decision to choose faith over fear.

staypresentStay In The Present

This phrase might possibly be the biggest key to success and happiness, in sports and in life. Putting your mind in the past can create disappointment, regret, and stress. During my time at BYU with my knee injury this was hard. I learned living in the past is a dangerous place to live–especially in the sports world. The future is unknown and that can create anxiety, fear, and nerves. However, I always tell myself to stay in the present with the future in mind.

There is great power in maximizing each moment and staying the present. If you make a mistake playing basketball (or any other sport), forget about it and move on to the next play.  Don’t  allow that mistake to determine how you play on the next play. Stay locked in the present and maximize each moment.

Control the Controllable.

As I worked with Doctor Manning throughout college he would always tell me “control the controllable.”  I didn’t fully understand that at the beginning.

In basketball there are so many things you have no control over. If a player shoots a shot over one of my teammates and makes it, I have no control over that. If my teammate misses a shot, I have no control over that.

How often do we worry about things we can’t control instead of focusing on things we can control? In a game we can control our energy and effort. The more energy and effort you put forward, the better all other aspects of your game will be.

makealistHere is something you can try that really puts this into perspective:

Make a list of all the things you can control during the course of a day and put all your energy and effort into those things. This not only puts things into perspective, but it helps you put your effort and energy into things that will directly impact you. It puts all of your thoughts into things that will create growth and success for you.

Everyday you can control your thoughts, happiness, the things you say, what you eat, how hard you work, how nice you are to other people, and many more things. Think about how good life would get if you only focused on the things you could control. Focusing on what you can control eliminates anxiety, fear, and many other negative emotions.

Feel free to comment on things that have helped you with anxiety performance. The more comments the more we will all learn!

About Kyle

Kyle Collinsworth is a professional basketball player, currently playing for the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA. He is a also a health coach, motivational speaker, and author or multiple books on health and fitness.

18 Comments

  • Carl Johnson
    Carl Johnson
    15.02.2017

    You have such a good handle on life and training for such a young man (that’s coming from an old guy). I heard a quote the other day but can’t remember who to attribute it to, but it basically said to “train with your 80 year old self in mind”. The gist of this is to train when you’re young in a way that will ensure you’re still healthy at 80. So many of us old guys didn’t do that and that message needs to be spread. Many of us have come down with heart arrhythmias and beat up bodies due to over use. You have a good platform to spread this message, and you’re doing a great job. Continue to educate young athletes on nutrition, training, etc.

    • Kyle Collinsworth
      Kyle Collinsworth
      15.02.2017

      Thank you so much! If you have any specific topics you would like me to write about let me know and I will do it! I like that quote a lot! the main reason I eat healthy is for that exact reason! Thanks for the comment! Keep commenting!

  • Erin Gee
    Erin Gee
    05.12.2016

    What a great blog post. I want to just add that sometimes fear can cross over into panic if an athlete has a traumatic experience (scary injury, emotionally abusive coach/parent, etc) and may need some specific strategies/support to deal with fight/flight response.

  • Zach Rothey
    Zach Rothey
    31.10.2016

    “Control the Controllable” This is such good advice. I started working a sales job last year and this is so applicable to me. A lot of my success depends on others choices, but if I do my best then i can feel better about it. Thanks Kyle

    • Kyle Collinsworth
      Kyle Collinsworth
      31.10.2016

      I really believe this is the key to happiness and success! Thanks for your comment! Like you said this applies to all areas of life not just sports!

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    28.10.2016

    4.5

  • Siale Langi
    Siale Langi
    27.10.2016

    Anxiety is a double edged sword – too much or too little can hinder performance, but a moderate amount is proven to improve performance. I welcome having “butterflies” in my stomach, but like you mentioned preparation and focus can help contain the anxiety.

    Good read, thanks!

    • Kyle Collinsworth
      Kyle Collinsworth
      27.10.2016

      Being nervous is a good thing for sure,it’s part of performing. Completely agree with you! thanks for the comment!

  • Nathan Stegall
    Nathan Stegall
    25.10.2016

    You have a lot of good points that have really helped me put what others say behind me, and focus on getting better. You have really inspired me to work harder in basketball, and I really enjoy watching you play the game! I wish you goodluck in the next chapter of your life!

    • Kyle Collinsworth
      Kyle Collinsworth
      25.10.2016

      Thanks a lot buddy! Let me know if you have any questions! I would be more than happy to answer any of your questions

  • Nathan
    Nathan
    25.10.2016

    You had a lot of good points that have really helped me put what others say behind me, and work towards getting better! You have really inspired me to work harder in basketball and I wish you goodluck in the start of a new chapter of your life!

  • Spencer
    Spencer
    25.10.2016

    How does experience help athletes manage their performance anxiety?

    • Kyle Collinsworth
      Kyle Collinsworth
      25.10.2016

      experience is what creates confidence. You can’t replace experience with anything. Sometimes you just have to go and get the experience in order to gain the confidence. The more reps and experience the more you feel comfortable and confidence and that reduces your performance anxiety! great question, keep asking more questions if you have any!

  • Trevin Harris
    Trevin Harris
    23.10.2016

    Couple things I think you know but left out, 1. All players have fear and get nervous. Especially when it comes to things they can’t controll i.e. crowds, reputation, game on TV, or even making the family or coaches pleased with your performance. One of the best things I learned at a young age playing ball in Houston was that intimidation, fear, nerves, and pressure cross all races, cultures, and genders. Once you as an athlete realize this, you can use this as an advantage. Something I obviously needed being an unathletic white wing in the WCC.

    Keep this blog going man. I enjoy it.

    • Kyle Collinsworth
      Kyle Collinsworth
      23.10.2016

      Very true my man! super good point. Being nervous and anxious is part of the sport, which is why playing sports at a high level is so demanding and intense. Will do bro! Hope all is well!

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    23.10.2016

    5

  • Tim porter
    Tim porter
    23.10.2016

    Great outlook! I love your posts. Good job and keep it up man

    • Kyle Collinsworth
      Kyle Collinsworth
      23.10.2016

      Thanks! Let me know if there are any posts you would like me to write about.

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