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nunopicado
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 09 Oct 2018
Posts: 9

Styles: Shotokan

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:31 am    Post subject: How to control performance anxiety? Reply with quote

Hi

I'm 41 and started practicing Shotokan Karate about 3 months ago to join my 13yo kid who has been practicing since April.

Yesterday I had my first tournament (Kata), and I'm not entirely happy with my performance, even though I managed get 1st place in my category.

The problem is, even though I was completely cool before the performance, the moment my feet touched the mat, I got nervous as hell, and couldn't get out of there soon enough. I feel my performance fell short of what I can do, in both Heian Shodan and Heian Sandan.

Of course this is highly subjective, but do you guys ever experienced the same, and how do you cope with it?

Thanks
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singularity6
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 26 Jun 2017
Posts: 958
Location: Michigan
Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That pretty much describes what happened to me each time I test. I'm still trying to figure out how to cope with it.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14183
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Allow the test or competition to take care of itself!! What happens is going to happen!!

All one can do is their very best at THAT very moment, and should the worse occur, it's never the end of the world.

Take a very deep breath...then execute!! If you mess up you mess up!!

As far as Testing Cycles are concerned, you'll never score a 100% ever, it's not possible because no ones perfect. As far as competitions are concerned, well. you can get all 10's, but that shouldn't happen either, ever, but it does.

The reason I don't experience performance anxiety anymore, and haven't for a very, very long time is because no matter what the outcome, the world doesn't end based on what I do or don't do because whatever I'm about to do will take care of itself.

Just breathe!!



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nunopicado
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 09 Oct 2018
Posts: 9

Styles: Shotokan

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:

The reason I don't experience performance anxiety anymore, and haven't for a very, very long time is because no matter what the outcome, the world doesn't end based on what I do or don't do because whatever I'm about to do will take care of itself.


That's the way I always feel, about basically everything, and did this time also, right until the moment I stepped in the mat.

I really can't say why on Earth that happened!
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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually get asked this a lot. Students tend to build up events in their mind to the point where they feel it's almost insurmountable and impossible.

The way I explain it is this; if you don't do well, if you don't pass... is it the end of the world? Are you never going to get another chance to do it? Is your sole reason for being here this or is it to improve yourself?

The secret to managing stress and anxiety is simple... look at it from 10 years from now and ask yourself how important will it actually have been. Time is the secret. Through time the impossible becomes possible. The daunting becomes manageable.

I have failed tests and at the time it felt like the world would end. It didn't. In fact it made me better. I wouldn't go back and change a thing. Sometimes failure is the best thing that could happen to you because it highlights your weaknesses and give you a chance to improve them.

Building things up in your mind to the point that you almost feel paralyzed by it is purely created by you. If you look at it for what it is and realize its just one more challenge in your life long journey, it looses it's control over you.

If you fail the world doesn't end, time doesn't stop and no one, despite what you may think at the time, will think badly of you.

We all fail. It's what teaches us to be better. Failure is the best teacher in the world.

To put it another way... It is what it is. Nothing more.

Don't let something become more important than it actually is. Trust me you'll look back in 10 years and wonder why it was so important and realize that it was just one step in millions that helped you to get where you are.

As Sensei8 said, let it take care of itself. Just do your best and if you fail come back better.
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The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails-but the one who moves on in spite of failure.
Charles R. Swindoll
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aurik
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 25
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the longest time, I had performance anxiety with regard to public speaking. The way I got over it was practice, practice and lots of practice. I joined the Toastmasters organization, which has definitely helped me deal with my anxieties. I am still nervous to speak in front of large audiences, but I can usually mask my anxiety.

I'd recommend two things. First of all, keep in mind that winning or losing a karate tournament will not change your life in any significant way -- as what the others have said. So just relax, go out there and have fun, do your best, and let the chips fall where they may.

The other thing you can do relates to your preparation. If you're really stoked to do well at this tournament, then practice as close to the same conditions as you'll expect at the tournament. If you can, get your spouse and/or son to sit as judges for your performance. Visualize the other competitors and judges watching you. Introduce yourself to the judges and perform your kata exactly as you would do it for the tournament. After you bow off, visualize the spectators applauding you and the judges giving you a high score.

Good luck in your next tournament!
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JazzKicker
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 07 Aug 2017
Posts: 116
Location: NJ
Styles: JKD, TSD, MMA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was a book title years ago, "Feel the Fear and do it Anyway". That's pretty much it. You may feel pretty wigged out emotionally, but your body does what it's trained to do, and you get through it. You did, and you got First place!

I've always found the anxiety is worse before I get into it- once I'm in it, it melts away.

I wish I could say Performance anxiety goes away, or that if you overcome it in one area of life, it diminishes in others.

I'm also a jazz musician, and going to a jam session, playing with people I've never played with before, picking a song we all know (no knowing what I'm going to play ahead of time!), and playing well in front of an audience- yeah, THAT makes me nervous. But when you get through it and it comes out OK- that's a very rewarding feeling.
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tallgeese
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 04 May 2008
Posts: 6834
Location: McHenry County, IL
Styles: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Bujin Bugei Jutsu, Gokei Ryu Kempo Jutsu, MMA, Shootfighting, boxing, kickboxing, JKD, Pekiti Tersia Kali

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the thing that drives performance anxiety is increased heart rate. It's like a vicious loop. You start to work, the HR elevates, that in turn creates more anxiety. It's a left over evolutionary mechanism from when stress meant surviving the sabertooth cat attack.

By control our breathing, we control to a degree the HR, which in turn minimizes the amount of chemical changes going on in your body. This leads to less anxiety and lets you keep thinking with your actual brain and not your lizard brain.

Don't get me wrong, a certain amount of upward movement from your body's homeostasis is a good thing. Too much is where we start to fall apart. Control this unwanted portion is what we're talking about here.

So, breathing. In for two, hold for two, out for two. It's got a lot of names and different times attached, but it all amounts to the same thing. By managing your breathing you'll see a drop in HR. This is going to lead to an appropriate amount of chemical changes in you body. And keep the anxiety at bay. Just concentrate on the breathing.

I'd start it as they called my division to the table and continue until I stepped on the mat. It's that easy. It's not full proof, but I've had great success with this under very stressful circumstances.

As always, practice and repetition is key. The more you're exposed to stressors of the same kind, the more you practice this technique, the less it will bother you.

Give it a shot, let us know how the next competition goes!
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immaterial
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 12 Jan 2019
Posts: 27


PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 9:47 am    Post subject: Re: How to control performance anxiety? Reply with quote

nunopicado wrote:
Hi

I'm 41 and started practicing Shotokan Karate about 3 months ago to join my 13yo kid who has been practicing since April.

Yesterday I had my first tournament (Kata), and I'm not entirely happy with my performance, even though I managed get 1st place in my category.

The problem is, even though I was completely cool before the performance, the moment my feet touched the mat, I got nervous as hell, and couldn't get out of there soon enough. I feel my performance fell short of what I can do, in both Heian Shodan and Heian Sandan.

Of course this is highly subjective, but do you guys ever experienced the same, and how do you cope with it?

Thanks


Yes, I do. My nerves are terrible. It tends to get better over time. But if you are prone for it, you are probably always going to be a bit too nervous for comfort, but you'll be fine. Don't worry.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14183
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

*Be prepared: practice, practice, practice.
*Limit caffeine and sugar intake the day of the performance. Eat a sensible meal a few hours before you are to perform so that you have energy and don't get hungry. A low-fat meal including complex carbohydrates -- whole-grain pasta, lentil soup, yogurt, or a bean and rice burrito -- is a good choice.
*Shift the focus off of yourself and your fear to the enjoyment you are providing to the spectators. Close your eyes and imagine the audience laughing and cheering, and you feeling good.
*Don't focus on what could go wrong. Instead focus on the positive. Visualize your success.
*Avoid thoughts that produce self-doubt.
*Practice controlled breathing, meditation, biofeedback, and other strategies to help you relax and redirect your thoughts when they turn negative. It is best to practice some type of relaxation technique every day, regardless of whether you have a performance, so that the skill is there for you when you need it.
*Take a walk, jump up and down, shake out your muscles, or do whatever feels right to ease your anxious feelings before the performance.
*Connect with your audience -- smile, make eye contact, and think of them as friends.
*Act natural and be yourself.
*Exercise, eat a healthy diet, get adequate sleep, and live a healthy lifestyle.

Some might be easier said than done, however, nothing ventured is nothing gained!! None are more important than the other from that list above, albeit, being prepared through practice seems quite vital...after all, it tops that list.




***Reference:

https://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/stage-fright-performance-anxiety#1
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