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Shift Focus To Avoid Pre-Competition Nervousness

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Jennifer Agans (@circusjen) is a doctoral student in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University. She earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Macalester College (2010; Phi Beta Kappa), and a master's degree in Child Development at Tufts University (2012). Jen currently works as a graduate research assistant on a project entitled "Evaluating the Positive Coaching Alliance Model: Developing Competitors of Character" within the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development.

Jen's advice for youth athletes who feel nervous before a competition is to try noticing the surroundings and enjoy the overall experience of being involved in a competition or performance, recognizing that you have practiced and prepared.

"If you look at your teammates, look at all that's going on around and enjoy the game or enjoy the performance instead of focusing on all the ways that things could go right or wrong, not only will you have a better time, but I think you're more likely to succeed."