Work through the exercises below as you get closer to a key race. Writing these down on paper or in the workbook for this course facilitates the thinking process, allowing you to work through any barriers that you’re running up against as the race approaches.
Your Optimal Arousal Level
On a scale from 1 (no arousal) to 10 (maximum arousal), optimal arousal is usually somewhere between 4 and 6.
- Note your optimal arousal level going into a race.
- Jot down some ways you can regulate that level.
Understand the Threat Appraisal
Going into a race, write down responses to each of the three building blocks of anxiety. This brings awareness to what you’re experiencing so you can more effectively deal with it.
- What’s unpredictable?
- What can’t you control?
- What (that you care about) feels like it’s being threatened?
Turn the Threat into a Challenge Appraisal
Challenge drives excitement and enthusiasm. To turn the threat appraisal into a challenge appraisal, consider what’s exciting about the challenge, what opportunities it provides, and how you might be curious about the experience. Write down your thoughts to each of these questions as you work to reframe the experience from a threat to a challenge and opportunity.
- What’s exciting to you about the challenge?
- What opportunities does the challenge provide?
- In what ways could you explore the experience with curiosity?
Counter Anxiety Triggers with Trust
Anxiety, in many ways, revolves around a temporary lack of trust we have in our abilities to perform. To remind yourself of those abilities, take a moment to reflect on your training leading up to the race, your past experiences as an athlete, and your past life experiences. Keep these confidence statements in mind as you head to the starting line of the race.
- Trust Your Training. Look back at your training leading up to the race and write down key milestones you achieved and positive takeaways you had from particular training sessions. (Facilitate this during training by jotting down positive takeaways in your training log for key workouts.)
- Trust Yourself as an Athlete. Look back at your athletic career and write down key milestones you achieved, including the confidence statements from your goal sheet for this race.
- Trust Yourself as a Person. Look back at your life experiences and write down key moments where you weathered adversity or overcame difficult challenges.
The workbook provides templates for all of the practical applications in the course. Download here if you haven’t already:
- Practical Application Workbook (Google Doc)