Deal With Pressure To Win In Sports Part 4

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In this video Coach Dan discusses effective ways to deal with pressure in order to win at sports.

All of us will feel pressure at some point in our lives. The biggest thing, first, I tell kids to do is breathe.Take a couple of deep breaths and clear your mind.

Just try to relax a little bit. Second, think small. I think a lot of times when they are feeling anxiety. They are feeling pressure. They are starting to feel the weight of the world on them. They are thinking seven steps.

If they don't do this, then this is going to happen, then that is going to happen, then this is going to happen, and pretty soon the weight of the world is on their shoulders. You can see them start to shrink, "Oh my gosh what's going to happen? I'm going to fail."

So thinking small and talking about, "Hey, look what is your job?" It really goes back to teaching fundamentals. They got to know their job and how to do their job. So, "Jimmy, take a deep breath. Relax. What's your job? Okay. Focus on just doing your job."

That doesn't always work, but it does give them a little bit of breathing room to sit back and say, "Okay that is all I've got to focus on." If they are batting, they do not have to hit a home run.

"All I've got to do is wait for a good pitch and then take a good swing at it. If I hit it, then great; if not then I did my best. That is all anybody can ask of me."

If he makes a mistake or chokes, I say, "Hey great! You did your job." I've got a great example of this. My son played on the varsity squad this last summer.

The very last bat of the very last game we had a chance to tie or go ahead. One of the kids got up there just tremendous at bat. He fouled off several great pitches.

Finally got one that he could hit and he crushed the ball into the gap. And it looked for sure like it was going to be a double maybe even a triple and we were going to tie the score or maybe go ahead.

The right fielder made a diving catch, just a phenomenal play. Alex, the kid on our team, was really sad and really disappointed. Our Varsity coach pulled him aside and said, "Alex, you have nothing to be ashamed of. You were terrific at bat. You did exactly what you are supposed to do. They just made a better play."

Our coach went on and made a good learning experience for all of the kids in terms of how to handle defeat and how to handle failure. If you have done everything that you can do, sometimes you are going to lose. That is part of life.

He could have easily swung and missed, but that is the way it goes. Again, it comes back to separating the behavior from the person. That even if Alex had struck out, "Alex you are not a bad person for striking out. It is just the way that one went. You tried and that is all we can ask of you."

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