It can be good, and it can be bad, but what’s important is we don’t put too much of it on ourselves. Pressure can come from others and from yourself, but personally the pressure that gets to me the most, is that which is self-inflicted.
A little bit of pressure can be good.
Pressure can be very beneficial to performance, if we deal with it well. Sometimes putting a little bit of pressure on yourself, or having others put pressure on you, can push you into performing well. If we feel as though others are watching how we do or expecting something in particular, we are driven to deliver. A lot of the time this comes from the benefit of nerves. I find, if I feel nervous before a race I tend to race better. As soon as the start gun goes, my nerves disappear and are released into the race. Nerves tend to amount from the pressure I put on myself. This is good pressure. This is the pressure of me wanting to do the training I have done justice, and reflect this in a good race.
Too much of a good thing.
However, this isn’t to say that pressure always works to our benefit. I am definitely guilty of putting too much pressure on myself. At times I expect way too much and expect things that are not possible at this current time. I can become so preoccupied with where I want to be, rather than where I am, that I forget to enjoy the here and the now, and put pressure on myself to be better than is realistically achievable. This is when, for me, pressure gets the better of me. If I expect too much of myself, I am constantly disappointed. Not because I won’t ever achieve what I want, but because I expect too much from myself currently at times.
I race my best and get the race performances I deserve when I am nervous but excited to race, and this is when I don’t put too much pressure on the race or myself. Whislt it can be easier said than done, we need to remember the enjoyment we get from this sport, and how the downs and difficult parts of our journey’s are the most important parts. If we always lived up to the expectations and pressures we put on ourselves, we wouldn’t enjoy the rewards as much as we do when they eventually come.
So, how do you deal with pressure, and does it work for or against you?
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!