Q: I can relate to this question best from when I played paintball with friends. When we were out there sometimes halfway through the game we were tired, obviously from the adrenaline dump at the start of the game, but when I last played a few months ago I was calm and prepared while every one else was freaking out. Now I have only raced mountain bikes twice a few years ago and want to do it again. With all of your racing are you still nervous, or have you reached that point of calm before and during the race? Are there any suggestions for nervousness?
A: The best way to line up supremely confident is to be supremely prepared. Preparation and planning allow you to show up to a race and know that you have done everything you could to be ready for that day. I get the most nervous when I don’t know what to expect or feel I’ve not done my homework. Of course I still get sweaty palms, elevated heart rate, dry mouth on the start line wondering if I’m going to do well, how the race will play out, etc. I get this at our weekly, local short track races with all my friends. However, those things just mean your body is ready for battle. If you did not have any nerves, it’d be hard to race well and really boring. That nervous energy is what separates training from racing and why it’s so fun to race! It’s good to harness that adrenaline into smooth, fast racing. Just don’t let your nerves take over.
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