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How to Handle Performance Anxiety as an Athlete

By Arlin Cuncic, VeryWellMind, 01/03/19, 12:00PM CST


Anxiety before or during athletic competitions can interfere with your performance as an athlete. 

Performance anxiety symptoms are often present in athletes. While some people become "pumped up" during competition, if you interpret the rush of adrenaline as anxiety and negative thoughts take over, this can interfere with your ability to perform.

Before you learn how to manage the symptoms of anxiety during competitions, it is critical to understand the relationship between anxiety and athletic performance.

Performance Anxiety and Sports Psychology

People with social anxiety disorder (SAD) fear social and performance situations. The most common fear is public speaking. However, other types of performances such as musical and athletic may also lead to anxiety.