…Or at any other crucial moment!)
There we were…down 21-20 and it was my serve. It was hot! A bead of sweat trickled off my brow ridge into my eye. I flinched momentarily but stayed focussed. My serve went wide onto the line and was an ace…we went on to win the match.
Whether it be during a penalty shootout at the World Cup or match point at Wimbledon, there are times when most of us will be in a nervy situation and the outcome will be dependant on whether our nerves will hold out for that crucial moment in order to scoop victory!
The big question is of course, how can we develop nerves of steel so that we don’t crack during the moments where it really counts? How can we steady our nerves and be unaffected by minor distractions or hesitate on our split second decisions which cause those upsets?
There are 7 ways to do it so that the next time you taking a penalty for a shootout at the World Cup, putting on the eighteenth, or serving for the match at Wimbledon (or preparing to play Operation after your dinner party and you want a steady hand) you will be unaffected by the occasion and it will seem just like a practice session for you.
If you don’t prepare of those situations up front then when you get there you won’t be ready. You won’t understand how to cope when it comes to real deal. Do a dress rehearsal.
A skill that needs to be honed. Can you cope with noise around you or do you feel like looking around and asking people to shut up? Can you drown out the background sounds and increase the volume of your inner voice?
The fastest way of getting focussed is controlling your breathing. If you are shaking then stop, take a few deep breaths, and then continue.
If you have an opponent, don’t be afraid to look them in the eyes. Don’t you sense the fear in the opponents that keep their eyes down? Stare you opponent dead in the eye!
If failure is in your mind expect to fail. Step up your thinking and focus at the task at hand.
Don’t get ahead of yourself and focus on winning. If you let the arrogance slip in you may have your backside handed to you on a plate. Bring it back to this moment.
At the crunch moment your heart will race and your success will depend on how much of your heart you put into getting that ball into the back of the net.
So, whether it be you taking the crucial penalty in a shootout, making the serve on match point, putting in the ball on the eighteenth, remember these 7 key ways to develop nerves of steel.