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Competition Anxiety
by Coach Lara on October 1st, 2012

Competitive Anxiety
It is a common belief that sports competition can be
a stressful environment for participants. It can lead to
competitive anxiety in many athletes. The main question
that most athletes and parents need to ask themselves is,
“What are athletes really nervous about when they compete?” Fear of failure and social evaluation are common worries among young athletes that lead to competition anxiety.
Swimming, like many other sports, permits an athlete’s
ability to be publicly tested, evaluated, and criticized by coaches, parents and themselves. Competition is a situation where athletes have expectations from parents, coaches,
and themselves. Trying to perform up to these expectations
can be very stressful. Every Athlete wants to be successful.
Athletes want to receive the rewards for the effort they
put into training and the sacrifices they make.
The ability to identify what your swimmer is feeling anxiety over is the first key to resolving it. As a parent, you can help your swimmer identify their anxiety triggers.
Common triggers:
1. Fear of not meeting time goals;
2. Fear of not swimming to one’s ability;
3. Fear of disappointment;
4. Fear of letting others down;
5. Fear of making mistakes; and
6. Fear of not meeting expectations.
Once you have identified your athlete’s anxiety triggers,
you can begin a strategy to resolve them. Expectations
set by coaches and parents are real and are hard to disregard
by an athlete. Being educated in setting attainable goals and realistic expectations for your athlete is important to their
success. Athletes need to understand that their self worth
is not based on living up to others’ expectations or based
on others’ evaluation of them.
In future articles, I will talk about skills and tools to help
control anxiety such as mental imagery, positive self-talk,
setting attainable goals, and keeping a training journal.
It is the Team’s goal that we all
work together to see each swimmer’s
potential shine.
Coach Lara
Austin Multi-Sport Inc.


Posted in not categorized    Tagged with Competition Anxiety, Swimming, Goals


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