Updated: Sep 22, 2020
"Don't let a win get to your head. Don't let a loss get to your heart. "
Emotional balance is a key component for athletes to consistently perform at their best.
In competition, the fluctuation of highs (like excitement) and lows (like frustration) are part of the game.
In these moments, the challenge is to maintain focus and avoid getting swept up by emotions.
Tips for learning emotional balance:
1. Write down all the emotions that you experience in practice and competition.
2. Identify how these emotions are both helpful and hurtful to your performance.
3. Action vs Reaction. Use your emotions as temporary calls to action. You can make any emotion a helpful emotion if it’s a quick response like a jolt of energy.
Don’t allow it to linger or else it becomes a reaction that will end up defining your performance. For
example, anger can be a call to action that quickly reminds you to stay competitive. It can become a
reaction when you allow it to build and take over your game.
4. Keep your perspective by creating positive and processed based cue words / phrases, like “You got this!” or “Head, heart, hustle!”
5. Inner coach, give yourself advice like your favorite coach would.
6. Mental rehearsal. Imagine what it looks, feels, sounds, and even smells like when you are playing your best.
Emotional reactions are habits that we learn, they cause us to automatically respond a certain way. So remember to take time to practice and create better habits and emotional responses.