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Many Olympic athletes hold themselves to an incredibly high standard, so when external sources like family, friends, teachers or coaches have expectations as well, it sometimes feels like additional pressure. To deliver results in high pressure moments Olympians often stick to plans they have built and repeated every day as part of their training. Staying true to their preparation needs, and building off the consistent work that has been practiced allows athletes to have confidence in themselves, and to trust their process, reminding them in the final moments before a performance, that they can
succeed! Many of these strategies to manage nerves before a performance, can be applied to managing uncertainty and anxiety faced in life outside of sport.

Inevitably, we all will face varying degrees of pressure, challenge and uncertainty throughout our lives. As such, it is important to have strategies and plans in place to manage different feelings of anxiety and worry. Consider using the strategies you have in place for performances, in your life outside of sport, to manage any uneasiness you may feel.

Here are 4 strategies that many Olympians use, in the face of pressure which you may find helpful:
● Focus on what is controllable in the situation at hand
○ Distractors and self doubt will creep in, let it pass through your mind and
remind yourself of what is within your control

● Approach the end goal one step at a time
○ Use the outcome or end goal as a motivator, but aim to clear your mind
and focus on the process and immediate task at hand

● Build and use routines to keep you moving forward
○ Find routines that work for you! Routines can help you maintain
productivity and provide you with a sense of confidence and satisfaction.

● Lean on others and be there for others too!
○ Helping others can be a great way to help yourself feel fulfilled and
satisfied. Sometimes we give such great advice and forget to take it for

Head to Head promotes mental resilience and physical wellness through Olympian led Youth Mentorship programs and swim clinics. Head to Head swim clinics are led by active and retired Olympic swimmers and each clinic is designed for youth between the ages of 10 and 17 yrs, from all levels of swimming (early competitive to national level). For more information visit or contact