Coping with competition nerves (Not our child's nerves, our own
Who relates to this? Your child has their first competition. They are excited and looking forward to show everyone how good they are. You, however, are a nervous wreck. So, what can you do with coping with your competition nerves?
Here are a few things that may help. Firstly, it is ok to feel nervous for your child. Anxiety happens because we care, and we want our child to do well. However, this could be detrimental to their performance as you could be transferring your nerves onto your child or cause a distraction!
So what can you do to calm these nerves and support your child to be super confident?
First thing is to recognise when you feel anxious and acknowledge it.
Goal setting: Speak to your child about what goals they have for the competition. Ensure that they have sent goals that are about themselves and not comparing to other people’s performances. Work together to set goals that involve effort and commitment and not just on the outcome.
Visualisation: I would imagine that your child is completing visualisations for their routines as part of their preparation for the competition, if not, encourage them to visualise themselves delivering an awesome performance. You can get involved too, by developing your own visualisation that involves you remaining calm and enjoying watching your little one competing in a sport that they love and how proud you are when they have done their best and given a great performance. Practice this at least 2 or 3 times a week.
Get a journal and write down when you get the most anxious and why. Concentrate on 3 things that make you proud about your little athlete. During the competition, write down all the times when your child does well. Look for evidence where they are concentrating, working hard and showing commitment. If they fall, look at how well they deal with it and move on.
Challenge the thoughts and ask whether they are detrimental or helpful.
Learn some mindfulness techniques. You can do these together with your child, it's a great way to regulate your emotions and stay in the present.
Eradicates the what ifs. Many of the what ifs never happen and we worry about nothing. Shift the focus to
Celebrate the effort not the outcome. At the end of the day, not everyone wins or gets a medal. Celebrate the positives and look for learnings. Don’t be afraid to listen to any disappointments your child may have from the competition, discuss feelings that you both have and look forward to the next competition drawing on the lessons learnt and not on things that you have no control over.
Parents play a vital role in the support of athletes during competition and by putting these tips in practice, can reduce the anxiety you have and help you enjoy the experience.
If you feel that you need more support, I offer a free parent strategy session. Here you will get clarity on your anxiety and put together a strategy where you can support your child to be an awesome confident.
If you are interested in applying for a free parent strategy session, please Contact Me and we can arrange a time to chat