Four Steps To Compete With Confidence In Any Sport

By: Kathy Toons

If you are an athlete in any sport you know all about the pressures that come with competing. Even if you are just competing for fun, there is still the desire to be the best at what you are doing. When you watch professional athletes perform, you might wonder how do they deal with the stress and pressure of competition? There has to be some sort of method that they use when competing that helps them stay ahead of the rest.

There actually is a method many athletes use in their sports training to hone their competitive skills. It doesn't matter if they play tennis, football, golf, basketball, soccer, or any other sport; it all comes down to four steps known as Game Face Routine.

When someone mentions Game Face you might envision how a star athlete looks right before a great play. Great athletes learn to maximize their "in-between" time in order to achieve consistent high performance. Inconsistent performers pay no attention to their "in-between" time.

Think about it. Every sport at some point has "in-between" time or down time. In fact many sports have more down time than actual playing time. Tennis, football, volleyball and baseball all have regular down time between points or plays. Golfers have even more time between shots.

The surprising secret of superior performance is this: to maximize your performance on game day, you need to prepare physically and mentally for the between-play moments those times when you're off the ball, going to the huddle, in the batter's box, or preparing to serve. Maximizing your between play time will take you to an entirely different level of execution and competition.
This powerful insight known to few athletes today is at the heart of the Game Face system. The system starts with what I call the Game Face Routine

Great athletes know how to find "the zone". In my terminology, getting into that zone is a product of faithfully following your Game Face Routine. This routine is an "on-the-playing-field" tool designed to help you deal with the pressures of competition. It consists of four steps that repeat during the course of competition. The specifics and sequencing of the steps will vary by sport; however, the steps themselves can be applied to any sport. I call them the 4 R's: reaction, recovery, readiness, and ritual.

Training your Game Face Routine consists of personalizing the four steps and making them your own.

Reaction is how you respond to your last action. In
order to excel it is a key element to learn how to react in a positive manner.

Recovery occurs after reacting, you give yourself a moment to breath and walk it off.

Readiness involves getting yourself ready for the action to resume.

Ritual is what you do right before you perform again, a ritual can help you prepare to act.

All of this can take place rather quickly which is why it's important to train yourself beforehand so all of this occurs smoothly during competition.

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