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Managing pressure
Fear of failure
Stress management
importance of self-awareness in sport

What self-awareness means

Athletes need to be aware of their physical and mental strengths and weaknesses and where they need to improve.

Athletes need to be mindful of what they are saying to themselves and how their internal thoughts affect their confidence and approach.

Athletes need to be particularly conscious of negative thoughts arising from disappointments or errors in past performances that are liable to affect future performances.


Heightened self-awareness comes being open to ideas and suggestions from other people and from mental training techniques--for example, taking aware the positives from performances, deliberate reflective practice and time spent preparing thoroughly for different eventualities during competition.

Continued use of positive self-talk in conjunction with repetitive practice linked to specific skills development goals will also help increase an athlete’s self-awareness and their confidence in their ability to improve their performance and reach their potential.

Keys to self-awareness

Here are some keys to what you need to do to demonstrate self-awareness.

  Develop your understanding of what works for you and doesn’t work for you in order to get into your best performance state.  
  Invite feedback and suggestions from coaches and team mates on your physical skills and how you handle yourself mentally.  
  Use video of your performances to help assess your strengths and weaknesses and help develop strategies for future competitions.  
  Evaluate your performance with your coach after training and competition to identify what went well and what you could have done differently and should work on.  
  Be aware of your thought patterns and self-talk at peak/stressful moments in competition and deploy techniques to counter negative thoughts.  


Watch this video

To develop your understanding of self-awareness and how it affects motivation and performance, watch this video by Gregg Steinberg.


Read this book

Read Compete, Play, Win: Finding Your Best Competitive Self by David Apostolico.