Many athletes experience fear in their sport, but the extent to which the fear plays a role depends on how much credit they give to those fears. Some athletes may hear that negative voice whispering fear provoking thoughts, and are able to successfully dismiss them through the strength of their confidence. However, there are athletes that may be struggling to silence that voice, and start to believe that their fears hold truth. When that happens, performance begins to go downhill; fear can halt optimal performance dead in its tracks!
Regardless of the sport, the fears (for the most part) are the same. I have listed the top fears that athletes face below. However, just because they tend to be the most common, it does not mean that the list is exhaustive nor does it mean that it applies to all athletes experiencing fear. There are a lot of thoughts an athlete can have about themselves and their performance and so it is important for each individual to assess their own experiences.
Top fears that could impact athletic performance
Fear of Failure
Fear of Making Mistakes
Fear of Being Judged
Fear of Embarrassment
Fear of Success
Even though it may not be comfortable for athletes to face their most negative thoughts/fears, those athletes that take the time to explore them are the ones that will be able to break through them. Athletes, who try to ignore these fears, can experience self doubt, anxiety, an inability to play in the present, and/or tension, which all result in poor athletic performance.
If you are experiencing low confidence, take some time to explore whether or not fears are playing a role. Write them down without censoring yourself. Be as honest with yourself as you can be.