Performance anxiety is common across sports, the arts and performing arts. You may know it as “stage fright”. Some may call it “choking”. Regardless of the name, the question is: How can coaches, instructors and teachers help athletes and performers overcome their anxieties about performing? As for anxiety that is not specifically performance related: 10-20% of the children who suffer from general stress actually suffer levels of anxiety that are considered disorders.
Within performance stress and anxiety, much of the success with controlling this is based on focus, process, confidence and engagement. But the fact still remains that helping your athletes or performers overcome performance anxiety or move beyond mental blocks may be two of the most difficult tasks coaches or instructors face. Both of these can be overcome, but according to sports psychologist Dr. Caroline Silby, Ph.D. there are no quick fixes.
Doing well when the time comes is important to the child’s confidence and also to their enthusiasm for learning more and continuing to improve.
Take a look at the full article published in The Cheer Professional by Catherin Calkins and learn more about helping your child move past performance anxiety using visualization, using a lock-step system, acknowledging mental strengths and by coaches staying engaged.
Read more about dealing with general stress and anxiety in families in this Psychology Today article: “Don’t Worry Mom: Coping with anxieties in families”.