“Of all the hazards, fear is the worst.”

Sam Snead

As an athlete who had a fear of failure, a fear of letting others down, and a fear of injury, I know first-hand what it is like to have the excitement of performance spiral out of control. With a blink of an eye, that excitement suddenly became nervousness. Even though I was confident in my skills, I felt immense pressure to exceed expectations. Sometimes that pressure stole the joy from me when playing the sports I loved.

This eBook is intended to help open your eyes to what our athletes experience when they have that high level of pressure or nervousness during sports—a phenomenon called “sports anxiety.”

“Sometimes I feel pressure before going into a game or even at practices. I feel like I’m going to fail and let my coach and my teammates down. Even if they tell me I did great, I know there is always something I could have done better.”

Athlete, p. 9

Sometimes athletes put a lot of pressure on themselves to be “perfect,” so they might overthink instead of playing with confidence. This can cause them to make unnecessary mistakes or play at a lower level than they are able. Where’s the fun in that? (from page 14)

“I enjoy it less when I’m nervous, but I still enjoy it. I guess it feels more like a chore, or something that I have to do. Because, I don’t know, because that’s what you think of when you’re not having fun.”

Athlete, p. 21

It is my mission to use my playing experiences, coaching experiences, and knowledge gained from education and research to help coaches, parents, and athletes. My hope is to educate and share information in an effort to increase the longevity of athletic careers and to enhance the overall well-being of athletes.