How do I stop being nervous in sports?

Introduction to Sports Nervousness

Sports are a great way to get active, stay fit, and make friends. However, for many people, sports can also be a source of anxiety. Whether it’s playing on a team or taking part in individual sports, feeling nervous in sports is a common experience. It can be difficult to manage these feelings, and can lead to a feeling of being overwhelmed and unable to perform to the best of one’s ability.

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What Causes Sports Nervousness?

Sports nervousness is caused by a mixture of physical and psychological factors. Physically, the body is preparing itself for the demands of the sport by releasing hormones such as adrenaline. This can cause the heart rate to increase, the muscles to tense up, and the mind to become alert and focused.

Psychologically, sports nervousness is caused by fear of failure, fear of making mistakes, and fear of not meeting expectations. These feelings can be further exacerbated by feelings of self-doubt and low self-esteem.

The Impact of Sports Nervousness

Sports nervousness can have a significant impact on performance. It can lead to reduced concentration, decreased coordination and agility, and difficulty making decisions. It can also lead to a feeling of being overwhelmed, which can lead to a decrease in motivation and a lack of confidence.

How to Overcome Sports Nervousness

Overcoming sports nervousness is not an easy task, but it is possible. Here are some tips to help you become more at ease in sports and perform at your best:

1. Stay Positive

The power of positive thinking is real. When you are feeling nervous, try to focus on the positives of the game or situation. Think about the skills you have, the successes you have had in the past, and the potential success you can have in the future.

2. Set Reasonable Goals

Setting realistic goals will help to keep your expectations and stress levels in check. Make sure the goals you set are achievable and within your control. This will help to reduce feelings of anxiety and give you something to focus on.

3. Acknowledge Your Nerves

It is important to acknowledge your feelings of nervousness and accept them as a normal part of sports. Instead of trying to ignore or push away your nerves, try to use them to your advantage. Use them to motivate yourself and to help you focus and perform better.

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4. Prepare for the Game

It is important to take the time to prepare for the game. This means having a good night’s sleep, eating a healthy meal, and mentally preparing yourself for the game. Taking the time to do this will help to reduce feelings of anxiety and will help you to perform at your best.

5. Focus on the Present

When you are feeling nervous, it is easy to start thinking about the future or the past. These thoughts can often lead to feelings of anxiety and overwhelm. Instead, try to stay focused on the present moment and the task at hand.

6. Take Breaks

Taking regular breaks during the game can help to reduce feelings of nervousness and give you a chance to reset and refocus. If you start to feel overwhelmed or anxious, take a few minutes to yourself to relax and regroup.

7. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a great way to reduce feelings of anxiety and stay focused. Try to take a few minutes before the game to be mindful and focus on your breathing. This will help to bring your attention to the present moment and reduce feelings of anxiety.

8. Visualize Success

Visualization is a great way to reduce feelings of anxiety and boost confidence. Spend some time visualizing yourself performing well and achieving success. This will help to reduce feelings of nervousness and give you a feeling of control.

9. Talk to Someone

Talking to someone can be a great way to reduce feelings of anxiety and get support. Talk to a friend, family member, or coach about your feelings of nervousness and they may be able to provide you with some helpful advice and strategies.

10. Have Fun

At the end of the day, sports are supposed to be fun. Remember to enjoy the game and give yourself permission to make mistakes. This will help to reduce feelings of anxiety and will allow you to perform at your best.


Sports nervousness is a common experience, but it is possible to manage it and take control. By staying positive, setting realistic goals, acknowledging your nerves, preparing for the game, focusing on the present, taking breaks, practicing mindfulness, visualizing success, talking to someone, and having fun, you can reduce feelings of anxiety and be more confident in sports.

Remember, everyone feels nervous in sports at times, and it is a normal part of the experience. With the right strategies, you can learn to manage these feelings and perform at your best.