As humans, we naturally feel various emotions during intense situations. From fear to excitement, our feelings run wild in those final seconds of a tied game or the last round of a fight. It falls on the shoulders of coaches to teach tactics that support students during high-pressure situations. These lessons should be implemented during practices and training and can help days of competition go smoothly.
Acknowledging the Pressure Point
One of the first steps to helping your student overcome their anxious tendencies is by properly identify their pressure point. For some athletes, it could be the beginning of a competition or game, while others it boils down to those final seconds. In the role of a coach, find methods or remedies that can alleviate any of the tension during these anxious times. Often if a coach is aware of what sets their player off, they can get to them prior to the situation and calm them down. Additionally, taking that pressure off of them, is a tactic that many successful coaches have used in the past. Using phrases such as “let’s keep having fun and doing what we do best”, rather than “push yourselves and work harder” could be the motivation that your team needs.
When a student is under pressure, they often find it difficult to zero in on your instructions. Especially in team settings, your communication skills come in handy in a major way. With various learning styles, being a coach can stretch you thin when it comes to giving direction. When a team or individual are under pressure, the way you choose to deliver your instructions or advice can set the tone for their performance. All communications should be made in a calm manner, as often as possible. Show your athletes how you want them to behave through your actions and words.
Let Them Shine
Changing the aspect or vibe of the competition can often throw off many athletes. Letting them do what they know best often warrants some great results. Sometimes it’s best to just reassure them that they know what they are doing rather than giving harsh instructions. Individual sports often follow this protocol more than team ones. It is easier to point a finger in team settings but being solo also means knowing exactly who and how to improve.