Fear This My Fellow Athlete

Competition is good, just as fear is good – if you will use it to your advantage rather than letting it use you. Fear can frazzle us to make mistakes, become uncertain, and anxious, but fear used to our advantage can propel us to greatness. It’s a double-edged sword. Since fear is internal, you own it, it’s yours to use as you will, if you ignore it, it might hurt you, if you use it, it can help you, give you the edge, especially in competition. How might I know this?

Well, I supposed any seasoned competitor in the human endeavor or athlete understands exactly what I am saying, but in case you need more examples to help you better understand this concept, by all means keep reading.

Recently, I read an interesting article online and watched a great video sponsored by Expert Sports Performance, the video was titled: “How Talented Athletes Deal with Fear,” by Loren Fogelman, a well-known sports psychologist.

In my view I believe that Fear is a wonderful thing, a huge driver of the human psyche, but Loren Fogelman reminds me of the truth that: “it motivates some and stops others dead in their tracks,” which is absolutely a fact.

Still, I believe that if FEAR stops someone from achieving or causes them to choke under pressure, then I would submit to you that:

1.) They don’t understand what fear is; and,
2.) They are not using FEAR as an adrenal shot for peak performance

Well, I say; too bad for them, if they are competing against me or my team. Fear can be a weakness if you let it, or high-octane when you need it, YOU decide which. “It’s all in your head” I always say. Anyway, that’s the way I see it. A great book to read is: “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway!” published by in the 80s as a motivational type book.

As a competitive runner, I used to imagine footsteps behind me and ready to pass. Interestingly enough, I was a pretty good athlete so that didn’t happen much, but when it actually did happen it’s a sound you never forget. This imagination during competitive races propelled me to stay on pace or increase my speed opening up a large gap between me and the other runners. Sometimes when I am out training even today, I will listen to my feet hit the trail and pick up the sounds of the echo and amplify them in my brain to simulate those ever-feared footsteps, thus, propelling me to run faster and faster.

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