Updated: Oct 19
Don’t let a win get to your head. Don’t let a loss get to your heart.
Emotional balance is a key component for athletes to perform at their best. In competition, the fluctuation of highs (like excitement) and lows (like frustration) are part of the game. In those moments, the challenge is to maintain focus and avoid getting swept up by emotions.
Tips for attaining emotional balance:
a. Write down all the emotions that you experience in practice and competition.
b. Identify how these emotions are both helpful and hurtful to your performance.
c. Action vs reaction. Use your emotions as temporary calls to action. You can make any emotion a helpful emotion if it’s a quick response like a jolt of energy.
d. An action can become a reaction when you allow it to build and take over your game. Therefore, don’t allow it to linger or else it becomes a reaction that will end up defining your performance. For example, anger can be a call to action that quickly reminds you to stay competitive.
e. Keep your perspective by creating positive and processed based cue words / phrases, like “You got this!” or “Head, heart, hustle!”Inner coach, give yourself advice like your favorite coach would.
f. Mental rehearsal. Imagine what it looks, feels, sounds, and even smells like when you are playing your best.
In the end, emotional reactions are habits that we learn. They cause us to automatically respond a certain way. So remember to take time to practice and create better habits and emotional responses that keep you focused on your actions vs your reactions.