It’s moments before your team will play in the state championship against its toughest opponent. You sit in the locker room, knowing you are going to have to step up big. You feel butterflies in your stomach.
Although some athletes collapse under this kind of pressure, you have learned to embrace it and to turn those nerves into an intensity that cannot be stopped.
Nerves into Energy
Great athletes learn to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations. You might think the pro athletes you see on TV don’t get nervous playing in front of thousands of fans. The truth is they are no different from you. They get nervous just like you do. What makes them great is that they are willing to put everything on the line. They aren’t afraid because they feel uncomfortable; they use the nerves to give them more energy.
Like them, if you don’t push yourself out of your comfort zone, you will never see improvement. The only way to get better is by trying new things. One step at a time, keep pushing yourself to achieve more so you are always gaining ground.
Too Much Too Soon
It is critical not to try too much too quickly. Get there fast by going slow. Too many athletes either become complacent or they do the opposite and try to take too many steps all at once. Build your foundation by adding blocks one at a time. Before you know it, you will lead the pack with consistent performance. When your foundation is strong, there is no limit to where you can go.
A few years ago, I got a chance to hang out poolside with Pro Bowl players at an event in Hawaii. Lorenzo Neal, who played for the San Diego Chargers at the time, got onstage to sing. He asked Peyton Manning to sing with him. Peyton was hesitant at first. Even though he plays in front of millions of fans every week, he was uncomfortable singing in front of his teammates and friends. But because he has a champion personality and he got a little encouragement from his wife, he agreed to do it.
To be honest, Peyton is a much better quarterback than he is a singer. He has been stretching himself as a football player for much longer. But I bet he could become a better singer if he wanted to. He’s not afraid to stretch himself to a point where he performs well in everything he sets his mind to.
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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.