Ways to Deal with Nerves: Gaining Good Game Experience

One reason why athletes get nervous and choke in games is because they are inexperienced with pressure situations in games. If it is their first time playing in a big game, the stage may feel too big for them and they will get nervous. A solution for this is to simply gain more experience with pressure situations in games. However, not all experiences are equal. It needs to be good experience. If you've played well in many big games before and have executed well under pressure before, then you will be more confident in future big games and pressure situations. You will know that you are capable of performing well under pressure and everything will be more familiar and less scary to you. This will greatly reduce your nerves. However, this only happens if you've had good experiences. If you've had bad experiences with big games, you may feel more familiar with the environment, which can help, but the thought of possibly choking again can make you even more nervous. If you apply the previous 6 strategies of dealing with nerves that I've wrote about, then you will most likely begin having success under pressure. After getting enough of this good game experience, you will start benefiting from it and your confidence will skyrocket. Perhaps, with enough experience, you may not even feel that nervous before big games anymore.

Here again is a list of the 7 ways of dealing with nervousness and choking in games.
1. Improving skills and muscle memory through more training.
2. Using "choke proof" technique.
3. Using high-percentage tactics/strategies.
4. Breathing and relaxation.
5. Improving concentration.
6. Improving self-talk.
7. Gaining good game experience.

Make it your goal this season or off-season to become more of a clutch player. Apply these 7 strategies, and you'll be well on your way to being a peak performer! No stage will be too big for you. Instead of crushing you, pressure will instead elevate your performance.

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