#117: ATHLETE TIP: Do This To Handle Pre-Game Nerves

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Having pre-game nerves is normal, but what should you do to handle this?

Our highlight for today’s episode is a comment from one of our athletes in the community. Her name is Lynden, and she said,

“My biggest transformation has been my ability to bounce back from mistakes. This has helped me. Be more confident in my game and feel belonging. It also has shown me how to be a good role model. Be encouraging to my teammates. This program has helped me more than anything with my mental game. And I want to thank you guys for helping me.”

Although Lynden was one of the participants of The Elite Competitor Program, she was the one who put in the work to get where she is right now. 

We only provide our athletes with the tools they need, and it’s up to them to put in the work. One of the tools we teach is learning to handle pre-game nerves, and that’s what we’re going to share with you today. 

Get ready for today’s episode is all about pre game nerves and how to handle it!

What does having “pre-game nerves” mean? 

Having “pre-game nerves” is something that all athletes deal with. So if you are an athlete that gets nervous before games, you’re feeling some things in your body, your heart’s racing, maybe your stomach aches, you feel some digestion issues, your mouth is dry, or you’re sweating, then that’s normal, you’re having “pre-game nerves”.

And as uncomfortable it might feel like, it actually means the opposite.

This is your body preparing you to compete. 

It actually helps if you learn how to handle it. But when it gets overwhelming for you, that’s when it starts to interfere with you being able to show up. 

So, what can you do to handle it?

#1. Shift your nervousness into excitement

When “pre-game nerves” happens, shift your nervousness into excitement

“Nervousness and excitement registered the same in your body. The only different thing is the meaning that you put behind them.”

Oftentimes nervousness and anxiety are seen as bad and to be avoided by athletes.

But in reality, anxiousness and nervousness are a sign that your body is preparing you to do something and it is warming up.

#2. See it as a sign that you’re doing something that matters

Nervousness is a sign that this competition matters to you, or whatever you’re about to do. And, if you didn’t feel that way, I would be a little concerned because whatever you’re about to do likely doesn’t matter to you.

And so if you feel some of that nervousness, some of that anxiety in your body, welcome that as a sign that this sport matters.

Label it positively

Label anxiety and nervousness as a sign that you’re ready!

As soon as you start to feel that feeling of nervousness, freeze your play, take a deep breath and think of it as something that means you’re hyped to do your best or that you’re warmed up to play. 


Pressure is a privilege

This is something that I say all the time to my athletes. Pressure is a privilege. 

Pressure is a sign that you’re ready and everyone gets to experience that. So embrace it and go out there shifting your nervousness into excitement. Take it as a sign that your body is ready!

See pre-game nerves as something useful instead of something to be avoided. 


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