It’s normal to feel nervous under the pressure of performing, even when you’re just heading to the gym to try out a new routine. But too much anxiety could distract you from the task at hand. This could increase your chances of suffering minor to severe injury.
A study from Sweden’s Linköping University found that athletes who experienced anxiety about getting sick during a competition are more likely to get hurt.
This same idea applies to training as well, for those who don’t formally compete regularly. If you’re so focused on feeling unwell as you power through your reps this afternoon, you’re much more likely to lose your focus and make a costly mistake.
The study surveyed 300 athletes, and found that those injured most often experienced physical symptoms of illness. The lesson here: don’t train when you’re sick! It’s not wroth it.
MP’s Take: Your mind has a major influence not only on how you feel, but on how you perform. The more anxious you are about something going wrong during a training session or competition, the more likely it is that something will actually go wrong.
The best thing you can do in situations like this is do both mental and physical “self-checks” if something isn’t feeling right. Are you fatigued? Is something hurting – is your body sending you signals that something isn’t quite right? Or are you just nervous about your worst training nightmares coming true? Talk with your trainer, coach or even a doctor if you want to make sure everything checks out. And before you get out there and do your thing, take a few minutes to close your eyes and focus. Give yourself a good old-fashioned pep talk. If you believe you can do this, chances are, you will.