Being nervous prior to a sporting event can be hugely detrimental to performance. Too much adrenalin buzzing around your body can leave you feeling drained even before the start of your event.
I can recall some of my own most nervous moments; one of which included vomiting when I arrived at the venue on the morning of the Island Games road race held in Guernsey in 2003. I used to get nervous for every cycle race.
Striking a balance is important, in many sports a little bit of adrenalin is beneficial. Although there may be a few sports where being absolutely calm is important such as archery, shooting, snooker and bowling.
Nerves can happen at any level. It isn’t just professional athletes that suffer nerves. In fact fully professional athletes usually have the advantage of psychological help at hand. Track cyclist Victoria Pendleton is a prime example of this. It was well documented that Victoria suffered badly with nerves but worked with a sports psychologist who often was at hand on track for her. Not everyone has this luxury but much can be done to prepare you for your event feeling confident with techniques and tools at hand to help keep your focus on the task at hand and not to get distracted by that monkey mind.
Some people may be nervous for their first ever race, or their first competition. Being a keen sports competitor myself, I really do love working with sports people at all levels and in all disciplines. I understand the pressures and the mindset required to be successful. In the more physical sports I understand the sheer effort; the blood, sweat and tears, required in training to get you to peak performance and in all sports the dedication and precision required for you to perform at your best in chosen discipline. Each 0.5% improvement adds up and can be the difference between winning and missing out. I have worked with professional and amateur sports people in a variety of disciplines including swimmers, tennis players, motor sport, footballers, cyclists, golfers, darts players and shooters to name some.
One key thing all sports competitors need is confidence. Without confidence you have already given 10% or more away to your competitor. Putting yourself on the back foot even before you start. Lack of confidence can happen for many reasons and this is something that can be overcome. Many competitors work hard to get themselves in peak physical shape or to obtain the necessary skills for their chosen discipline but do little to work on their mindset.
I recently worked with a client in preparation for a big sporting event. This is her testimonial:
“I have been playing sport since I was a kid but as I’ve got older I started to become more plagued by nerves in big competitions and never performed as well as I could. My sessions with Ann have changed all of that. I feel so much more confident and relaxed in the big moments and I’ve started getting the results I know I’m capable of. The skills Ann has taught me have been useful off the sports field too – I find I’m able to cope much better with stress and anxiety in my everyday life too.
Ann puts you completely at ease during the sessions and I never once felt uncomfortable. She clearly cares about helping her clients and I would thoroughly recommend her, both to other athletes looking to deal with sports performance anxiety, and to anyone looking to improve their mindset in their everyday life.” JD
How Does It Work?
We have an initial consultation which involves a relaxed chat in order that I can understand what you want to achieve and the obstacles in your way. Every person is different so part of my role is to be intuitive and creative to help you achieve the results you are focussed on. Along with the work we do in my private studio, I will provide you with techniques that will help you prepare for your event. By the time your big day comes up you will feel much better prepared, more confident and ready for the challenge ahead. What could you achieve if you let go of those nerves?
Above: Ann Bowditch winning her third National Hill Climb at Peak Hill in 2006
ANN BOWDITCH is three times National Hill Climb Champion, has competed in 3 Commonwealth Games and has won numerous Island Games gold medals in the sport of cycling. Ann has played a role in helping Guernsey’s top cyclists reach the professional ranks as coach and mentor. Prior to cycling, Ann represented the Island at both running and hockey.
Ann is a member and trainer registered on the General Hypnotherapy Register. She is also a practitioner of a number of therapies including EFT, EmoTrance, META Health, NES Health, Matrix Reimprinting, Colour Mirrors. Ann is also an RMTi Consultant working with adults and children to help with development and many issues. She uses her skills to help people overcome many issues including health, stress, weight loss, cravings, addictions, anxiety, depression, insomnia, bullying, behavioural issues, social and confidence issues. Ann works in a unique way often by combining therapies tailoring sessions specifically for the individual.
If you wish to find out how Ann can help you please contact her here.
Ann Bowditch GQHP, GHR Reg., META-P
Dip (Hyp) Hypnotherapy
EFT (AAMET Certified) & Matrix Reimprinting Practitioner
Meta-Health Practitioner & Colour Mirrors Teacher
NES Health Practitioner
PSTEC Level 1-A (Advanced PSTEC)
Tel: 07781 111186
Ann Bowditch is a Member & Trainer registered on the General Hypnotherapy Register