It’s natural to feel pressure in sports before a big game. The pressure can be taken positively though. Stress can help us rise to a challenge and meet it with alertness, focus, and strength.
When the challenge is over, the stress lets up. We can relax and recharge. Then we’re ready for the next challenge. But at times, there are more demands and pressures than we can handle. Stress can pile up if the stressful situation doesn’t have a specific end point.
There can be plenty of pressure in high school sports. Sometimes pressure comes from the feeling that a parent or coach expects you to always win.
But it can come from inside, too: Some players are just really hard on themselves. And specific situations can add pressure: Maybe there’s a recruiter from your No. 1 college scouting you on the sidelines.
Talk over these ideas with a friend, parent, coach, or fitness instructor. Get their perspectives, support, and advice. Ask them to help you decide what to do to ease the pressure you’re facing. Just sharing what you’re going through can lower stress, refresh your energy, and remind you that you’re not alone.
Stress will always be a part of competition and sports. But we can use stress to our advantage by dialing it back and managing it well. We can use stress to boost our performance rather than let it defeat us.