Today, we’re diving deep into the world of sweaty palms, racing hearts, and that oh-so-familiar feeling of wanting to bolt before a big game or performance. 

That’s right, we’re talking about how to deal with stage fright. 

But with a twist!

We’re tackling it from a sports psychologist’s perspective. And trust me, we’ve got some fresh takes and unheard tips that’ll have you facing your fears like a pro. 

Let’s get into it!

What is Stage Fright?

Stage fright isn’t just about being on a literal stage. 

It’s that jittery, butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling you get before you’re about to perform or compete. 

It’s like your body’s own personal alarm system that goes off, screaming, “Alert! Everyone’s watching!” 

Whether you’re stepping onto the field, getting ready to shoot a free throw, or about to deliver a speech, it’s all the same beast.

Why Do We Get Stage Fright?

So, why does our body hit the panic button? 

It’s all thanks to our ancient wiring. 

Back in the day, being the center of attention often meant danger (think: facing a wild animal or an enemy tribe). 

Our bodies haven’t quite gotten the memo that a soccer match isn’t exactly life-threatening. 

This primal response is all about survival. Our brain senses a “threat,” and boom, adrenaline kicks in, preparing us to fight or flee.

Ways Stage Fright Stops Us From Winning

Now, here’s the kicker!

Stage fright isn’t just annoying. 

It’s a dream crusher!  

It can mess with your focus, make your muscles tense up, and even make you forget your strategies. 

It’s like trying to play chess in the middle of a rave. 

Not ideal, right? 

That pounding heart and shaky hand aren’t just uncomfortable—they’re performance killers.

We all get stage fright when at one point or another. But the question is: How to deal with it? 

Here are a few tips you can try when you feel those unwelcomed shakes and nerves taking over: 

1. Rethink the Nerves

Instead of seeing your nervous energy as an enemy, think of it as your ally. 

That adrenaline rush? 

It’s your body’s way of prepping you for battle. 

Channel that energy into your performance rather than fighting it.

2. Visualize Success

Imagine nailing that shot, giving the perfect speech, or crossing the finish line first. 

Visualization isn’t just woo-woo stuff; it’s a legit technique many athletes use to enhance their game.

3. Breathe… Then Breathe Some More

Breathing exercises aren’t just for yoga buffs. 

Deep, controlled breaths can lower your heart rate and calm your mind. 

Practice breathing techniques regularly, not just when you’re about to face your fears.

4. Routine Magic

Create a pre-game or pre-performance routine. 

Routines can be comforting and can help shift your focus from the fear of what’s ahead to the task at hand.

5. Embrace the Prep

Overpreparation can be your secret weapon. 

Knowing you’ve done everything possible to prepare can boost your confidence and ease some of those jitters.

6. Power Poses to the Rescue

Believe it or not, your body language shapes how you feel. 

Before you head into the spotlight, strike a power pose. Stand tall, hands on hips, chin up—like a superhero. 

Studies suggest this can boost your confidence and reduce stress levels. 

It’s a quick, easy way to trick your brain into feeling more powerful.

7. The Soundtrack of Your Life

Music has the power to alter our mood. 

Create a playlist of tunes that pump you up or calm you down, depending on what you need. 

Listening to music before your performance can serve as an emotional reset, getting you into the right headspace.

8. The Rehearsal Game

Practice under conditions that mimic the real deal as closely as possible. 

If you can get used to performing in front of others during practice, the main event will feel less intimidating. 

The familiarity will help reduce the fear of the unknown, which is a big part of stage fright.

9. Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness practices can help you stay present and focused, rather than getting lost in worries about what might go wrong. 

Meditation, even just a few minutes a day, can significantly reduce anxiety and improve your concentration.

10. Flip the Script on Failure

Change how you view mistakes and failures. 

Instead of seeing them as disasters, consider them part of the learning process. 

Embracing a growth mindset helps you deal with setbacks more constructively, reducing the fear of embarrassment that often accompanies stage fright.

11. Selective Focus

Learn to focus your attention selectively. 

Instead of zeroing in on the audience or the aspects of the performance that scare you, concentrate on what you can control—your actions, your techniques, and your responses. 

This shift in focus can significantly reduce anxiety.

12. Get Physical

Physical activity, especially before a big event, can help burn off some of that nervous energy. 

A quick jog, some jumping jacks, or a dynamic warm-up can reduce tension and increase endorphins, making you feel more relaxed and upbeat.

13. Celebrate

Remember to celebrate your victories, no matter how small. 

Successfully managing your stage fright for one performance is a win and should be treated as such. 

Celebrating these moments can build positive associations and increase your confidence over time and help you deal better and quicker with stage fright in the future. 

By expanding your toolkit with these strategies, you’re not just learning to cope with stage fright. You’re turning it into a force that propels you forward. 

Each technique offers a new way to harness that nervous energy and channel it into your performance. 

So, experiment with these strategies, find what works best for you, and remember: every great performer has faced and overcome stage fright. 

You’re in great company, and you’ve got this!

The thing to remember is that a bit of stage fright is normal, even beneficial. 

It means you care. 

The trick isn’t to eliminate it but to manage it. 

Accepting that it’s part of the game can take a lot of its power away.

The idea of accepting stage fright might sound counterintuitive at first. 

After all, isn’t the goal to get rid of those pesky nerves? 

Not exactly. 

The beauty of acceptance lies in understanding that stage fright is a natural response, not an enemy to be vanquished. 

It’s about acknowledging your feelings without letting them dictate your actions. 

The Buddy System

A very powerful tip to overcome stage fright is having a buddy system. Someone who can actually relate and understand what you’re going through. And who can help you center yourself in those crucial moments. 

Don’t underestimate the power of talking about your fears with teammates, coaches, or a sports psychologist. 

Sometimes, just knowing you’re not alone in how you feel can make a world of difference.

Having someone to talk to about your nerves can turn into creating a support network that echoes positivity and encouragement. 

When you share your fears and listen to others, you often find common ground. 

This mutual understanding fosters a sense of community and support that can significantly diminish the intensity of stage fright. 

It’s about building a positive echo chamber where encouragement and understanding bounce back and forth, amplifying confidence and diminishing doubts.

A buddy can offer you a fresh perspective on your performance and your fears. 

Sometimes, we’re our own worst critics, and stage fright amplifies this critical voice. 

A friend, coach, or teammate can help you see the bigger picture and remind you of your strengths and progress. 

This external viewpoint can be incredibly grounding and can help reframe your anxieties in a more manageable light.

But, the Buddy System isn’t just about getting support. 

It’s also about giving it! 

In explaining your coping mechanisms and hearing others share theirs, you open up a learning exchange. 

This can lead to discovering new strategies for managing stage fright that you might not have considered. 

Additionally, the act of supporting others can reinforce your own understanding and commitment to these strategies, creating a virtuous circle of learning and teaching.

Sharing your feelings with someone else and having them listen and validate your experiences can be incredibly soothing. 

It can strengthen emotional resilience, making you better equipped to handle stage fright. 

Knowing you’re not alone in your struggle can be a powerful antidote to the isolation that fear often brings. It’s the human connection that reminds you that everyone has their battles, and together, you can face them with more courage and less fear.


In wrapping up our deep dive into conquering stage fright, it’s clear that while the nerves may never fully disappear, the strategies we’ve explored offer a robust toolkit to not just manage, but harness this energy to elevate your performance. 

From the transformative power of acceptance to the undeniable strength found in the Buddy System, each approach provides a unique way to face and reshape your relationship with stage fright. 

Remember, the goal isn’t to eradicate fear, but to dance with it in such a way that it propels you forward, not holds you back!

For those looking to take their journey to the next level, I invite you to join our Success Stories Community

As a sports psychologist, I’m here to guide you through the ups and downs of your high-performance journey. But it’s not just me you’ll be getting help from; you’ll gain access to a vibrant, like-minded community of individuals who are all navigating their own paths through stage fright and performance pressures. 

Together, we share strategies, successes, and, yes, even the setbacks, learning and growing stronger with each shared experience.

Within our community, you’ll find an abundance of resources designed to bolster your performance. 

From one-on-one coaching sessions to group workshops, and a plethora of tools tailored to high performance, we’ve got you covered. 

Imagine having a space where support, knowledge, and motivation intersect, creating the perfect environment for breakthroughs and transformation. 

That’s what the Success Stories Community is all about. 

So, if you’re ready to turn your stage fright into your secret weapon, we’re here to help you make that leap. 

Together, let’s unlock your full potential and rewrite your story with confidence!

See you on the inside!