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Monday, August 31, 2009

Racing pressure & anxiety need not be negative

As I prepare for a lecture to some junior & U23 athletes as they prepare for the world triathlon championships on the Gold Coast in Australia, my thoughts go to the processes of handling pressure.

Here are some thoughts that may help you as you train hard in preparation of your next race.

-High self expectations can create stress that is perceived as negative. A more empowering interpretation can be that you have confidence in your ability – that is why you are entertaining the prospect of doing well
-Realize that setting yourself a high standard actually points to your belief in your ability
-Some anxiety indicates that you have put something important at stake that demands a higher standard from you.
-Having shown yourself (& others) that you are capable of competing at this level should bring pride rather than concern.
-Preface races & hard training with formalized thoughts around the challenges that need to be met in order to continue the process of transcending your current level of ability
-Confronting thoughts & what they pertain to should be viewed with satisfaction as they point to the purpose of training hard & give the self assurance that your efforts are meaningful & correctly directed

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