We have all heard the saying that practice makes perfect. What is the most important reason for practice? We all have a desire to become more proficient at whatever skill that we are working on improving. We often times discover that this particular skill that we have been focusing on, in our case racquet sports, flies out the door as soon as we get into a competitive situation. Why is this? It all boils down to fear. When our mind goes into a state of fear, we become reactionary because our body thinks that we are in danger. When we are in a state of fear or anxiety, we react and run into fight or flight syndrome.
This mid-brain reaction shuts off the thinking part of our brain which is where we house our knowledge and our ability to perform in sports and all endeavors. Why does the Armed Forces over prepare and practice basic maneuvers repeatedly? The soldier must be able to perform when the bullets start flying. The body will take over and access what it remembers from hours and hours of previously practiced maneuvers. This phenomenon also happens in sports. The highest level of performance is compromised by our fears. The purpose of training a technique and/or tactics over and over again is what makes us able to access that information in any situation, which in this case is competition. Overcoming fears is one of the major limitations and reasons why only a few athletes will excel at what they do. If you want to excel at what you do in sports, be sure to get out and practice.  

For more information, contact Racquet Sports Director Mike May at mmayhoustonian.com.