Extreme Focus: Take Advantage of Your Nerves

In this edition of Extreme Focus, STACK Expert and mental performance coach Dave Austin reveals how he used nerves to give him an advantage on the tennis court.

Have you ever been in a crucial situation with the game on the line and felt so nervous that you might throw up? As MLB pitcher Kameron Loe says, "Nerves give me power, if I focus on my intentions."

Looking back at my own professional tennis career, I can see where I let nerves distract me from my goals rather than using them to fuel my competitive fire. On some occasions, I was too busy fighting my nerves to stop and realize that I could turn them around and use them to amplify my performance.

Then I changed my mindset.

I realized that my opponent was no different from me and was also feeling the pressure, so I attacked him with a vengeance and used my nerves as a weapon of destruction. I used that extra push of adrenaline to blow right past him.

That simple shift in my mentality is what helped me start winning big points.

If you're struggling with nerves, keep in mind:

  • Nerves are only a bad thing if you see them as a bad thing.
  • Look at nerves as your body preparing itself for competition.
  • Welcome the pressure—bring it on!
  • Get excited about the extra power you now have.
  • Recognize that everyone has them—you are no different.
  • Know if you are too calm, you may play flat.

The worst thing you can do is try to calm down and lose your emotions. That's nuts. The effort you put into tamping things down will actually slow you down and tire you out more quickly.

Editor's Note: The video above is an XF Sneak, courtesy of Extreme Focus Training Camp, an exclusive online training center where elite athletes go to train their minds. For more info, visit www.ExtremeFocus.com.

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Topics: TENNIS | STRETCHING | POWER | TRAIN | THROW | PITCHER | COMFORT ZONE | TRAINING CENTER | TRAINING CAMP