Posts Tagged ‘Sports Performance’

How to Reduce Sports Performance Anxiety

March 28, 2013

Stressed AthleteAnxiety is one of the primary issues that athletes want help with. A certain amount of adrenaline is necessary to play well. I refer to this as a state of “heightened awareness”. You need to be excited and pumped up to a certain extent to want to perform. But when you have too much adrenaline, it turns into anxiety and can negatively affect your performance as well as make you feel miserable.

Pre-performance anxiety is caused by negative thoughts you have about your upcoming performance. Most often those thoughts are about pushing to make something happen; that feeling of intense pressure to play perfectly.

Start with This

Make a list of all your thoughts about performing. Start with the thought that creates the most anxiety and tap on that thought until it no longer feels true. Then take the next most intense anxiety-producing thought and tap on that until it no longer feels true. Continue with your entire list until you feel neutral about these thoughts. This process will help to clear out what is likely causing the majority of your anxiety.

If anxiety develops while you’re in the midst of your performance, you can discretely tap your karate chop point on the side of your leg, the end of your bat, the butt of the golf club, etc. Make sure you’re focused on what you are fearful about when you do this.

Here is a general performance anxiety protocol I developed for my athletes to use before they head out to play in any competition when they feel the need. Some of these statements may feel exaggerated to you but tap them anyway, you’ll feel better once you do. (If after you tap this protocol you still have some anxiety, tap through it one more time.)

Tapping Protocol for Performance Anxiety

Tap Karate Chop Point while repeating 3 times:

“Even though I’m holding this anxiety in every cell of my body, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”

Now repeat one statement at each point as you tap:

  • I always feel so anxious before I play
  • I can’t focus or think clearly
  • Sometimes I feel sick to my stomach I have so much anxiety
  • My conscious mind focuses on the future rather than in this current moment
  • My conscious mind starts to make up stories about the trouble I’ll have
  • I’m afraid I’ll play poorly
  • I feel like I have to push and make something happen today
  • I think I have to play perfectly today
  • I’m afraid to go out and play
  • I am so tired of always feeling this anxious before I perform
  • My anxiety feels overwhelming at times
  • The stories I’m making up about what may happen out there are so negative
  • I’m only  focused on all the things that could go wrong
  • I’m having trouble seeing what I do right when I perform
  • If I don’t play perfectly it doesn’t count
  • I have to go out there and make it happen

Tap Karate Chop Point while repeating:

“I give my body permission to release this anxiety from every cell. My body can choose to relax and let go of this anxiety. My body can relax and let go of having to make something happen today. I give my body permission to release this anxiety from every cell membrane and cell receptor site.”

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Have You Heard Our Olympians Using the “F” Word?

August 8, 2012

That’s right…a few of our gold medal winning athletes at the 2012 London Olympics have used the “F” word on national television! They’re talking about how much FUN they’re having performing and how much they’re enjoying themselves.

On Aug. 4th, I heard an interview with Michael Phelps and he said, “when I first got here (in London), I was too intense. Then I just started smiling more…I started smiling and enjoying it.” And after that shift he won a gold medal and then he won a couple more.

Swimmer Missy Franklin talked about how she didn’t come into these games with any expectations about medaling. Her goal was to get closer to her teammates and enjoy her experience.

It’s no coincidence that an athlete talking about having fun is a gold medal winner. To understand what happens on a physiological level when you perform from a place of joy and having fun, please listen to my radio episode on this very topic:

I invite you to follow in the footsteps of some of our gold medal winners and start having fun again with your performance!

Breakthrough Performance for Sports

July 29, 2009

Sports GearsWelcome to my Blog!

I’ve been pioneering the use of Emotional Freedom Techniques or “tapping” with professional and amateur athletes since 2003 to release mental, emotional, physical, and mechanical performance blocks.

I help professional and amateur athletes achieve breakthrough performance by:

  • Speeding up the healing of recent injuries
  • Completing the healing of old injuries
  • Increasing range of motion by at least 20%
  • Releasing the effects of past poor performances
  • Eliminating sports related anxiety
  • Accomplishing mechanical changes in minutes vs. months
  • Increasing confidence
  • Learning recovery techniques to reduce fatigue
  • Breaking through comfort zones

I’m starting this blog to share my knowledge and experience working with athletes and to spread the word about the power of tapping. Please visit my website for complete details and to view my sports performance products at

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