Ditching the Self-Doubt


Shadow Ridge Flag Team before a game! (Courtesy of: Taylor McEvoy)

Talor Gitman, Journalist

Ranging from professional to student athletes, everyone has different ways in coping with the pre-game nerves. Going into any competition, whether it be team-based or not, feeling the pressure to fall with responsibilities as a competitor is a completely natural feeling. Shadow Ridge student athletes face this lapse of self-doubt and uncertainty before taking on the playing field.

Sophomore Izzy Phelps, playing as a current member of the JV team for flag football, explains, “Before a game, I normally say a prayer, and that helps me to get mentally prepared and stay focused. When I’m focused and prepared, I feel more confident and I’m able to have more fun during the game. When I feel nervous, I’m not able to focus and I don’t do as well on the field.”

Ellie Fisher

Also playing JV flag for Shadow Ridge, sophomore Taylor McEvoy, conveys how “I stop thinking about the negatives, and start thinking more about the positives; like what I can do better, and how my team can have a better chance of winning.”

Sophomore, Taylor McEvoy at a Flag Football game! (Courtesy of: Taylor McEvoy)

Finding a balance between momentary hesitation before a game can really help to focus more on setting goals, and what can be done to prevent any setbacks. The calming and comforting aspects before a game can help to improve overall performance on the playing field.

McEvoy states how “It helps you get into a better mindset. You can begin focusing on doing well, rather than feeling bad about messing up when you haven’t even played yet.”

While feeling nervous before a game can really take a toll on the game-ready mentality, there can always be many different ways in maintaining the pre-game jitters. Being that everyone deals with times of reassurance, finding a level of understanding between fellow teammates can help to find that others may be experiencing this same feeling.

Sophomore, Ellie Fisher, vaulting over the bar! (Courtesy of: Ellie Fisher)

Sophomore Ellie Fisher, pole vaulter for the Shadow Ridge track team, goes on to claim, “I like to listen to some calming music or talk to my friends before a meet, just because they are feeling the same thing; so we all talk through it to feel a little better. It helps to not be nervous, because it keeps me in the right mindset, and ready for the game or meet,” Fisher adds. “For me, when I’m feeling nervous, I feel like my mind is everywhere. As when I’m focused and calm, I can feel like I’m ready to run or vault.”