Scoreboard Anxiety

| Posted inWeekly Blog
We’ve all seen it, too much emphasis on winning increases players’ anxiety. They end up expending their emotional energy worrying about whether they will win or lose and that higher anxiety causes them to make more mistakes — they play tentatively and timidly.
Ultimately, anxiety undercuts self-confidence, which affects performance and takes the joy out of sports.
Why does the focus on the scoreboard increase anxiety? Because players can’t control the outcome on the scoreboard and players become anxious about things that are important to them that they can’t control.  A win on the scoreboard depends a great deal on the quality of the opponent, which is outside of the control of the athlete or team.
Sports psychology research shows that teams and athletes who give 100% effort, constantly learning, and bouncing back from mistakes, consistently win more contests. (To learn more about this research, visit Positive Coaching Alliance.
By moving a player’s focus off the scoreboard results and on to their effort, our athletes will be happier and more self-confident — and the wins will come.
I’ve always said you attend to the processes and the processes will attend to themselves.  Encourage your team to do what you have practiced at training and the outcome will be positive, win or lose.  Constantly looking at the scoreboard will only increase mistakes especially in a close encounter.
For those players who don’t have a scoreboard be careful not to remind them of the score all the time and also talk to parents in case they are telling the players from the sideline.
Continue to give each player direction and the team collective goals without the emphasis on the score.