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Sports and Performance Anxiety

Are you someone who struggles with sports or performance anxiety?  You are not alone.


Studies have shown that 40-60% of athletes have sports or performance anxiety.

Signs of sports or performance anxiety:

-butterflies in your stomach


-clammy hands

-increased heart rate

-increased breathing

-fear of failure

Most of us, at some point in our lives, have experienced anxiety.  Whether it is in the classroom, on the field, or at work, at times, anxiety can feel crippling.  Please read below for ways that you can manage your anxiety.

Practice: You have heard the saying “practice makes perfect”.  This is true when it comes to anxiety.  The more you practice, the more you become comfortable leading to fewer triggers that increase your anxious feelings.

Social Supports:  It is important to have a support system in place that empathizes with your anxious feelings rather than making excuses or blowing off your feelings of anxiety.

Cognitive Reframing:  It is extremely important to shift your mindset.  If you are expecting failure, a high majority of the time you will fail.

Sleep:  Getting 8-9 hours of sleep each day will help decrease your anxiety on and off the field.  Sleep is extremely important!

Proper nutrition:  The foods that we consume have a major impact on our health including mental state.  For some, eliminating certain foods can help alleviate anxiety triggers.

Calming Music:  Listening to calming music before a game can help prepare your body and mind by allowing you to mirror the music that you are listening to.  If you are listening to calm music, your body is more likely to be at peace.  If you listen to music that is loud and piercing, you are more likely to have an increased heart rate and an increase in your anxiety.

Meditation and Yoga:  Meditation is a great way to calm your body and your mind.  Meditation and meditative practices can help you decrease your anxiety, and this can carry over onto the field, court, and stage.

If you or someone you know has sports or performance anxiety and would like to speak to a therapist, please call us at 217-751-2231 to set up your free consultation and appointment today.

Jason Givens, M.Ed

Hope Centered Wellness Group

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