Severe competition nerves

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All Chalked Up

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Mar 15, 2010
1,307
Canada
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This is my fourth year in gymnastics & will be my third year competing. I will be competing as a 16 year old P3 or P4 (comparable to level 7 or 8 I believe). Competition season starts in January & my birthday is in December.

I have the most terrible awful competition nerves EVER. I get very sick day of (throwing up, etc.), I am dizzy and faint while waiting for my turn & while competing, I sweat excessively even if I'm not hot, I can't sit still & I get headaches. I can't sleep the night before & I am wound up the whole day of.

What can I do to tame the nerves? I never know what to do. I don't have this anxiety in any other part of my life. I do not perform to my maximum capablities because of it & that just makes it worse for the next meets (i.e I messed up last conpetition so I can't screw it up this time).

Help!!
 
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aerialriver

Active Member
Coach
Proud Relative
Gymnast
May 4, 2009
724
Maybe you should see a doctor about it. Passing out while going is dangerous!

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Gymfinn7

New Member
Jul 15, 2013
11
What my friends and I have done before meets is that we stretch, do yoga, and visualize our routines. Then during the meet we don't watch the other kids- especially on beam- and usually we distract each other by telling stories/jokes, and just enjoying ourselves. But we also wouldn't stand around and do nothing, we would always be practicing on a line, or going through our dance. Right before its your turn, take a deep breath, calm yourself, slow down your mind, give yourself some encouragement, and remember you can do this!!!! Good luck!
 

All Chalked Up

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Mar 15, 2010
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Unfortunately we are not allowed to have iPods or phones out on the competition floor, however I listen to music on the car ride up.

I'll have to try visualizing.
 

emilykatherine

Active Member
Gymnast
Jun 6, 2013
632
Where not allowed to have ours out there either( we text each other because we're not allowed to talk either) anyway doing my hair calms my nerves I got really good at doing it so I can focus on that instead of thinking how I could mess up or getting nervous at the meet before we go out I get there a good hour or so early before as well as te rest if my team and we talk ad share stories from other meets and such and then come meet time I just focus I guess nothing really special our Coaches give us pep talks before each event( actually they tell me a score) and then I go everyone gets nervous but you just have to calm your nerves and relax
 

All Chalked Up

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Mar 15, 2010
1,307
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I find whenever my coach gives me a pep talk, my nerves are worse. Example: I came 2nd by .1 at a meet. The next meet my coach said "there is no reason why you couldn't get first place. I have faith in you." I then felt even more pressure to live up to her expectations of me... and bombed (well I didn't bomb, but I didn't come first either). She really does mean well when she gives me pep talks like so, but they make it worse!

I also normally do not have teammates with me when I compete. I'm usually alone, or someone is on another event (which is worse because then my coach stays with them & just checks up on me since I'm older).

I have a type A, perfectionist personality as far as gymnastics is concerned.
 
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BlairBob

Guest
Bummer, I'd ask your coach for an exception. Throw on the warmup jacket and headphones in.

I understand the reasoning but if it helped one of my athletes with anxiety issues, I'd be all up for it.
 

anna_rg_gurl

New Member
Aug 6, 2013
4
I have the most terrible awful competition nerves EVER. I get very sick day of (throwing up, etc.), I am dizzy and faint while waiting for my turn & while competing, I sweat excessively even if I'm not hot, I can't sit still & I get headaches. I can't sleep the night before & I am wound up the whole day of.

What can I do to tame the nerves? I never know what to do. I don't have this anxiety in any other part of my life. I do not perform to my maximum capablities because of it & that just makes it worse for the next meets (i.e I messed up last conpetition so I can't screw it up this time).

I do rhythmic. every 1st routine i do i trow up in the middle of it. it has come to a point where im nervous about bring nervous. I used to see a psychologist about it but it didnt help, so now i do yoga and see a sports psycholgist about it. hope this helps o
 

flippin out

Active Member
Proud Parent
Sep 26, 2011
614
I know several gymnasts (including my own daughter) who have had success using a product called Bach's Rescue Remedy. It's all natural (nothing in it is against any competition laws). It can be purchased at any health food store, GNC, on the internet. It's a liquid that you put into water (thinks it's 4 drops) and drink. Some put it in a water bottle and drink it throughout the day/practice/competition. Some prefer to put it into a shot glass of water and drink it up straight and get it over with. Putting it in water is important (activates the essences in the remedy I guess). My daughter has used this for 2 years with great success (she used to vomit before all morning meets). She starts taking the remedy the week of the meet so that it's in her system fully for the day of the meet. There is no harm in taking it everyday either. I know several kids who take it daily to help with finals, exams, school in general, summer practices (stressing over getting new skills). She's been competing for going on 8years, has had the stomach issue only the last 2-1/2 to 3yrs. Seems like the higher the levels the more nerves involved lol. I have great faith in the Bach's Rescue Remedy. I say try it and see, can't hurt.

That being said.....the fainting is another issue totally! I'd have an MD check that out. Maybe your sugars are out whack. If that's the case, your stomach issue may be a part of that. Fainting is serious, esp. in sports. The possibility of fainting while competing is very serious....please see a Dr and rule out any other issues (blood sugars, etc.) before trying the Rescue Remedy.
 

gymnamelia

New Member
Aug 10, 2013
6
Before competitions I always try to do something fun but safe eg. Hanging out with friends.
Anyway I'm sure your a wonderful gymnast and I hope this advise helps!
 

Kiwi

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Jul 14, 2010
1,381
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Relaxation exercises and breathing exercises might help. A physiotherapist might be able to help with these. Repeating calming affirmations might also be helpful.
 
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