Molly Thompson-Smith is one of the brightest young stars in climbing and joined the Berghaus team of sponsored athletes in 2014. At just 16 she is captain of the British junior climbing team and already has an impressive CV of achievements in lead climbing and bouldering. Here are her top 5 tips of how to overcome nerves in a competitive environment.
Being nervous, and not knowing how to deal with those nerves, can severely impact your performance but there are ways you can go about trying to reduce their impact. Here are 5 simple tips on how to beat comp nerves:
1. Create a routine
I find that making and sticking to a routine is super helpful; this could start small like always having porridge for breakfast, walking to the comp venue, then doing the same warm up. It’s really important to find and make a good routine, and warm up that works for you. Having a good warm up will also improve your confidence as you will be ready to go and try your hardest!
2. Don’t forget to breathe!
Strangely enough can be easy to forget to breathe. Shallow breathing and a fast heart beat are both signs that you are nervous… taking a few slow deep breaths will generally calm you down and hopefully make you less nervous.
3. Be confident
or pretend to be! You’ve got to believe in yourself… how can you expect yourself to perform well if you doubt yourself and your abilities?
4. Don’t dwell on uncontrollable factors
It’s important not to drown yourself with negativity just before you go out to perform. Focus on what YOU are about to do – don’t think about all the things that you think could go wrong. Thinking about the things that you can’t control will definitely make you nervous… so try not to!
5. Don’t compare yourself with others
Comparison is a losing game – especially when comparing yourself with someone you think could be better than you. There is nothing you can do about someone else’s performance so there is no point wasting your time thinking about it.