My last articles were about reactions like "to give in" and "rage and negative emotions". This time I want to explain how the stress ends in tension and how to learn to handle it. Did you already observe yourself, to find out when you tend to tense? Usually it happens when a match doesn't develop to plan; we'll get more aggressive and more and more hectic. We start to brood and practical and technical faults occur. Our performance gets worse. Our body reacted with tension and seems to block, because we worry. It tips stress hormones. Mental strength means to find an individual solution how to handle your tension. By training your mental behaviour you can learn to foresee your reactions und to control their results. One possibility it the "thought stop". As soon as you realize you can't any longer control your game, call "stop" after you've thrown a dart, jerkily clench your fist and change to a positive thought: "I am calm and concentrated." By this you undo your fist, exhale and enjoy the relaxed feeling.
Or you can deliberately act as if everything is o.k., do "as if…" There you´ll need some acting capabilities. You stand steady and upright, shoulders back, head up, move smoothly, always glancing straight forward. Do as if you are bursting with confidence! Try to look tall! Your opponent will notice your changed body language! Tell your mind what to do: "I am looking forward to every single dart. I like this challenge. Come on, do like in practice". It always should be positive wordings. If you repeat them constantly (best start before the match already) this self suggestion activates your subconscious and activates undreamt of powers.
When you play with tension that means that you play very engaged emotionally and very motivated. Check whether your expectations were realistically and whether you really prepared good enough, to play successfully. You must be able to reach your goals. Only then you can concentrate on your match and give your best. And only then the result will really be the best you can reach on that day. Only demand from you, what you really can do in practice as well. According to sport scientifically researches, a sport can only give 85 % of his/her practice results in competition. Don't expect too much from you and enjoy your darts.