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Warm up: Training Tip

A list of techniques that triathletes can use to help manage the stresses of going against the competition.

How To Manage The Stress Of Going Against Your Competition

Many triathlon athletes get anxious when they go against a tough opponent. They get nervous and so worked up that they lose their focus. Here is a list of techniques that triathlon athlete can use to help manage the stresses of going against the competition:

  • The first step is to learn as much as you can on your opponent. Although this may seem obvious, some athletes may think they already know what they need to know. Remember there is always something to learn about your competition. Read the reports about your opponent and watch him or her performance. Try to figure out an angle on how you can beat your competition. The more you know about your competition the better your chances are you will win. This will also help to reduce your worries in the future.
  • Do not assume anything about your competition. Every athlete has his good and bad times and just because you may be facing a stronger opponent does not mean that you will lose. Remember that you and your opponent both have an equal chance of winning. You are both starting from scratch. This should help you to give you confidence going into your next triathlon event.
  • Focus on how you can best strive for perfection in your own event, instead of worrying about your opponent. For instance, you are going against the number one athlete in your event and you are nervous. Instead of focusing on how good your competition is, focus on your performance. Concentrate on how you can perform your event and how you can best improve on your problem areas.
  • Realize that you can’t win all of the time, and that also includes your competition. You may be the best athlete in the world, however you will still sometimes lose. No one can win all of the time. When facing a tough competitor, use this fact to your advantage. Even the best athletes will make some mistakes.
  • Give yourself some pep talks to re-enforce encouragement to yourself. Take advantage of opportunities before, or during, your event to give yourself positive encouragement regarding your performance. This can help reduce your stress and anxiety.
  • View a particular triathlon event as a learning experience when things do not work out. For example, you made too many mistakes in a certain event and you are not going to win this time around. Instead of beating yourself up, try to figure out what you did wrong. The best time to improve on your performance is when you deal with adversity.
  • It is not uncommon to get nervous when you go against a better opponent. All you can do is to focus on your skill sets and do the best you can. This will help you in the long run.

Stan Popovich is the author of “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods.” For additional information go to: https://www.managingfear.com/