Contact: 01332 559 126 - 07582 865 265
Geoffrey Schofield D.Hyp D.CBT

Sports and Performance Anxiety in Derby

sports anxiety in derby

Sports and Performance Anxiety in Derby

“It was a type of euphoria: I felt that I could run all day without tiring, that I could dribble through any of their team or all of them, that I could almost pass through them physically. I felt I could not be hurt, it was a strange feeling and one I had not felt before. Perhaps it was merely confidence, but I had confidence – with that strange feeling of invincibility.” Pele, World cup footballer – “My Life and the Beautiful Game” – Doubleday

It has been shown that the link between confidence and performance is a direct relationship, the greater the confidence, the greater the performance.

Whether in the sports arena, on the stage or in business life, it’s a fact we are apt to dwell upon our past failures rather than our successes. In fact, when you think about it, there are two aspects to performing well. The first is the performance of the activity itself, the second is the effect or impact that performance will have on you and others around you. To perform really well the second consideration needs to disappear completely – so the ONLY consideration is the performance of the activity itself.

You may be surprised to learn that children who are complimented for doing something they enjoy doing actually have less confidence the next time they engage in that activity. Why is this? Well, its because the focus of their satisfaction in the activity changes from internal (enjoying the experience of being ‘in flow’ and ‘at one’ with that experience) to external (experiencing awareness of response from outside). So once the experience of being ‘in flow’ and the awareness of how you are doing is being assessed by others, or indeed yourself become entangled with each other it can be that the self conscious state of ‘performance anxiety’ occurs.

A tennis champion once described how during important matches, she actually forgets or loses awareness of all external reality except the immediate experience of playing the game. The current situation becomes no more or less important to her than a friendly match down the park with a friend. At the end of the match she experiences a kind of ‘awakening’ where she suddenly remembers so to speak, the tournament, the crowd and the prize money. These external things are only considered after the match. It’s only after the match that she actually considers the quality of her performance in depth. So not being put off by outside distractions is a vital skill for top performance, as is not allowing yourself to be distracted by any faltering in your performance.

This section therefore covers quite a range of performance, from simply standing up and doing a speech, an important interview, on stage in front of an audience, on television, to performing in front of 100,000 people in a sports stadium, the same principles will apply. I will bring about a relaxation, concentration and confidence within you, to believe in yourself enabling you to be the best that you can be, and to focus on what you are doing – rather than how you are doing. Clearly, I cannot guarantee that you will be a success in any endeavour or competition against others but I can ensure that you do the best that you can and to walk away proud of your performance.

“I felt as if I was driving in a tunnel….The whole circuit became a tunnel…I had reached such a high level of concentration that it was as if the car and I had become one. Together we were at maximum. I was giving the car everything, and vice versa…” Ayrton Senna – Formula One racing world champion (Independent 11th December 1995).

Geoffrey Schofield D.CBT D.Hyp
1 Vernon Street
Derby, DE1 1FR.
Mobile : 07582 865 265
Telephone : 01332 559 126
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