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   Believe it or not, many athletes may not reach their goals because they fear the pressure success might create   GET MENTAL :...

   Believe it or not, many athletes may not reach their goals because they fear the pressure success might create  

GET MENTAL : Erika Carlson

   As athletes, we dream of one day cashing in on all the blood, sweat and tears for the glory of our sport. We imagine winning the championship, earning the scholarship and even winning the gold medal. Ironically, many of us also fear success.

   Surprisingly, at times we actively sabotage our chances of success. Why on earth would we purposely diminish our chances for the glory we dream of? Intuitively we fear that a fully executed commitment also sets us up for a complete failure. A failure that comes without excuses and may bring truths that we don’t want to face.

   Success can also bring the crushing weight of pressure. Pressure to continue to be successful. Pressure to meet the expectations that your success established. It can be a lot to live up to.  

   What does fear of success look like?

   >> Not completing your workouts for the week.

   >> Not eating proper nutrition/poor timing with eating

   >> Not getting proper sleep and recovery needed to manage your training load.

   >> Getting frustrated and deciding that you just can’t get better, stronger or faster. 

   >> Spending a lot of time thinking in the future about “what ifs”  (“What if I win the sprint and now I’m expected to always win the sprint? What if I win the tournament and now everyone is watching me and expecting me to win?”)

   Fear of success is subtle and often hard to detect, but it deviously undermines our best performance. Here are some tips to help minimize and overcome fear of success.

   >> Set up a weekly goal plan with everything that you need to do in order to be prepared for game day. Update and execute this plan every week with 100 percent commitment.  

   >> Share your goal plan with your coaches, trainers and/or your sport psychology professional to review for additional accountability.

   >> Manage your self-talk to be sure you are staying focused and not giving yourself permission to let down.    

   >> Manage emotions that can lead to irrational behavior which may make us feel “justified” in not staying committed.

   >> Discuss your fears out loud with your coach, trainer or sport psychology professional to give them a voice and to help get some strategies to overcome.

   I often say, it’s your mental game that controls your physical game. Being mentally strong allows you to prepare and perform your best. Performing your best is nothing to be afraid of.


Check out this article in the digital edition of SportStars Magazine… Do You Fear Success? 

Previous Article… Not What You Thought 


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