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PCA Presents: Why Pressure Is A Privilege

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All competitive athletes face pressure. Whether it’s making the last spot during tryouts in high school or knocking in a free kick in the 90th minute to win the World Cup, pressure in sports is part of the experience. The panelists in the PCA Google+ Hangout discuss why pressure is a privilege in sports, and how athletes can approach this pressure with mental toughness.

One common theme in this discussion is how coaches and spectators put more emphasis on physical preparation, rather than recognizing the importance of strengthening mental toughness. Coaches should do more than just talk about refocusing after mistakes and overcoming game day nerves' they should also help young athletes master these skills.

A reoccurring strategy mentioned by our panelists is the usefulness of positive self-talk. As athletes progress they may have different coaches and teammates, influential people that they don’t get to choose in their life. Still, they can always rely on their inner speak for positivity and focus. It’s crucial for athletes to develop positive self-talk strategies.

The world outside of sports is filled with an equal abundance of pressure. An athlete’s ability to deal with and overcome pressure will translate to success outside of sports as well.

Panel Members:
David Jacobson (@CoachDaveJake) (moderator), Positive Coaching Alliance
Kathy Toon (@CoachToon), Tennis Coach and Author of Get Your Game Face On
Jake Wald (@Jake_Wald), Former AAA Baseball Player
Isaac Goldman, High School Baseball and Soccer Player and member of the PCA National Student-Athlete Advisory Board