Do you ever feel like when your adrenaline starts going you lose your mind?
When you’re put on the spot, do you lose your ability to think quickly on your feet?
I’m going to break down pre-race jitters and how to unlock your mind blocks so you can clearly focus at a high rate of speed.
Controlling Nerves: Breaking Down the Physiology
Start looking at nerves as your fight or flight survival instinct. The reason why you may find your mind going blank when you have to give a speech or any type of performance is that your body shuts out all unnecessary informational inputs and only focuses on what you need to survive at that moment. Hence, why it is so important to make your hand and posture movement become muscle memory. As much as you want to be able to think quickly on your feet, your body naturally relies mainly on muscle memory when adrenaline kicks in.
So how do professional athletes, race car drivers, special operators all hone in on their “Sharp Senses”.
Here is a video that will break down the survival instinct of the human body and how to control it.
Determine Where You Lack Confidence
After you have watched the video and understand how your body works under pressure, we can now differentiate what are actually concerns you may have vs. your body just preparing you for battle. (in which case it’s pretty badass that your body can literally prepare you to win before the fight ever starts to take place.) In order to understand where you have holes in your confidence, refer to my post here
Tips For Mental Control Pre-Race Day (Meditation Photos, book links, 3 tips)
I’m a big advocate for meditation and to start off everyday with at least 5-10 min of meditation. “Slow is smooth and smooth is fast” If you learned anything from the video it’s learning to control your breathing and your state of being. Well, meditation is the key to unlocking that door.
To start off: try just focusing on your breathing. Breath in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, release for 4 seconds. Repeat until you feel calm. Let thoughts come and go, don’t focus on anything other than your flow of breath.
Here are a couple of great resources for meditation:
- Oprah/Deepak Meditation App
- Gabby Bernstein Meditation Videos
- During your race day, if you get nervous easily, don’t watch other people run. Find things that keep you focused and calm. Like roping a dummy, brushing your horse, braiding the mane. I recommend getting a good visual on the arena set-up and then not spending any more time than you have to, watching the race. You will make yourself anxious over runs you can’t control and also pick up on some bad habits. Run your Race and keep it your race.
- Get your points down and practice them on foot at your trailer, working for your hands and sitting the way you need to.
- Work on some coordination drills to wake your mind up and sharpen your reflexes. Coming Soon: Drills on Coordination.