T Nation

Stage Fright


After having competed 4 times this year, I noticed that I get really nervous and anxious 1-2 hours before the meet. Also, this really affects my snatching as I am not as confident in this phase as in the clean & jerk. Anyone of you also having this kind of performance anxiety? Any advice how to get rid of it, other than just doing the competition lifts in training over and over again?


stop being a vagina.


Really helpful, thanks.


No problem. On a serious note i think some people just don't get nervous i don't get very nervous. All you can do is compete more i suppose.


A few random tips:
If you feel your pulse beating too fast, try counting your heartbeats out to yourself. It will slow the pulse down.
You probably don´t want to be too relaxed though, try to find your "zone of maximal performance", the level of arousal where you perform the best.
To get used to the pressure of competition, try making practice more like the meets. Get an audience and refs and do "mock competitions". Try to mimic the environment and circumstances of the actual competition as closely as possible. Training in a trainging environment won´t prepare you mentally for competition.
Visualise the meet, as detailed as possible. How does it look, feel, sound? Visualise yourself lifting to your full potential. Do this a couple of times daily.
Remember that arousal is basically the same physiological reaction with increased heartbeat, sweating, heightened awareness no matter the cause. It´s your interpretation of it that makes it negative or positive. Try to change your anxiety into something positive. Find words with positive meanings and repeat them to yourself.


i used to get nervous alot but the more i competed the less nervous i get.


Guess I'll just have to keep competing then.


I think you said it yourself. Confidence. You have to be confident in your ability to lift the weight when you step onto that platform. You also need to be comfortable in that competitive environment (what with it being timed and there being an audience and all) but I think the confidence is something that comes from handling those heavy weights in training. It sounds like the confidence is the key though, seems like you're competing enough to be getting comfortable in that environment. If you're confident, being anxious about your performance turns into excitement, but if you lack confidence your anxiety makes you nervous and weaker. In my experience, anyways.


You can do it mate. Smash it up :slightly_smiling:

A new lifter I'm coaching went to a meet a few days ago. He said he would be really nervous lifting on the raised platform and in front of a crowd. I told him he'd be cool man. It's something you need and will get over :slightly_smiling:



Everybody gets nervous.Even the great late Vasili Alexeyev talked about being very nervous before big competitions.The thing is,in the meet your competition gets very nervous too.
So,there are exercises like breathing,counting,mental drills that help.
If you practice that and reduce your nervousness by 20 %,you ll get the edge over lifters of your experience level.
Now,go to the work! :wink:)


On average, how many lifts do you miss in training?

Being nervous is normal, but one thing I noticed with people being extremely nervous is that when they train, they use weights that they clear about half the time.

With my youngsters, I have a goal that they should clear nine in ten lifts consistently, and this has really helped them chill down before competitions. Knowing that they can and will clear that weight any day of the week.


No more than 2 misses per weight. Normally I don't miss anything below 70 kg in the snatch training, with 75 kg being my training PR.

I don't know, I haven't made much progress for a while.


this is going to really sound STUPID so here goes: When I compete in Cycling and triathlons I get the worst case of butterflies in the stomach, so what I have done in the past is this. I eat One Egg McMuffin (or other fast food equivellent) about 45 minutes before the start and another 15 MINUTES before the gun goes off. Killed the little bastards by drowning them in hot oil and protein ; ) Typically I will end up in the top 15% of the field...most people look at me stupid until they see my ass running over and then away from them...

Also, I will be trying this same protocol during my FIRST powerlifting meet in Feb.

Hope this little disgusting post helped you...


I typically eat a baked potatoe and tuna salad after my weigh in. Nothing too heavy...