Athletes and the Effects of Pre-Game Jitters

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Hours before a match, athletes in all corners of the world tend to freak out due to all the psychological factors that accompany performance in sports. Stop for a quick second and imagine becoming a Manchester United Striker or a Denver Broncos Wide-Receiver. For those who did not know already, these two positions are among the hardest in the sports world to play. Not only must the person assigned to these positions stay up until the early hours of the morning studying plays and formations so they might better assist their team come match day, but they also act as the main way the teams they play for get any points. If the expectation of being the team’s top scorers isn’t enough, they must also act as an inspiration to every other teammate that plays alongside them. Even though most people say psychological factors have no effect on an athlete’s performance in sport, athletes are negatively affected by the psychological aspects because of pre-game jitters they may experience, the relationship each athlete has with the stadium crowd, and the toll each match has on the athletes’ bodies. To begin, almost any athlete in the world today experiences pre-game jitters. These can be thoughts, hallucinations, or other things that can play with your mind and bring yourself into a state of depression. According to Driven: How Human Nature Shapes Our Choices by Paul R. Lawrence and Nitin Nohria, Lawrence describes pre-game jitters as “a combination of nerves, anticipation, adrenaline and excitement experienced by athletes all over the world. Some people experience this type of anxiety so strongly they are nearly unable to play (Lawrence 189). Early in his book, Lawrence identifies that pre-game jitters are in fact a humongous problem... ... middle of paper ... ... What Ferraro is saying is that after a match an athlete tends to separate themselves from their loved ones. Many outside the sports world never will know about the “real” things involved in sports. Sports are not just competitions between two opponents trying to claim they are more supreme than the other. There is more of a psychological aspect that most people miss all together sometimes. It is clearly evident with the information given that there is some sort of psychological aspect behind sports. Whether it may be the pre-game jitters the athletes may experience, the relationship each of them has with the stadium crowd, and the toll each match has on the their bodies. Sports psychology in general can be a difficult concept for many to understand. Before you diverge into that world however, one simple question remains “Are you tough enough to handle it?”

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