"Holding onto anger is like grasping onto a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else. You are the one who gets burned." – Buddha

When things don’t go your way, how do you handle upsets? You response says a lot about you. More information is revealed through your actions regarding you, and your sportsmanship, than you realize. So think about it, do you become angry, short-tempered and have a tantrum when you lose?

Interestingly enough, anger is a secondary emotion. Anger is a cover-up for underlying emotions difficult to express. Even though your anger feels very real, when you take the time to get under the surface there is always something else there like fear, anxiety, frustration and resentment.

Anger initially appears to be a motivating force, enhancing performance. The adrenaline rush experienced affects strength, pain threshold and performance. Adrenaline helps you become laser focused on your objective. Be careful. Anger has addictive qualities.

When allowed to get out of control your performance suffers. Not only will you lose focus, but you end up doing things you regret afterward. You lose control, equipment is broken, obscenities get thrown around and people get hurt. Blaming anger is not an excuse for poor behavior.

And then, of course, there is celebrity anger. When athletes act out of control on-camera what message are they giving to the sporting community? If they can get away with bad behavior and poor sportsmanship are they lowering the standards for everyone else, giving us permission to act like them? How far is their behavior allowed to go before it stops being entertaining? There is no universal law. Each sport has its own threshold.

Many athletes don’t know how to deal with these underlying emotions, and don’t allow themselves to “go there” so it ends up being expressed through anger. They re-run the event over and over again in their minds, finding it difficult to let go and move on.

Here are some tips for controlling anger on and off the field.

  1. Don’t forget to breathe. Count to ten. If you still feel angry have a word which you can repeat in your head i.e. calm or focus. It is difficult to have two thoughts at one time.
  2. Just like you keep a performance log, keep an anger log. Write down what made you angry. You want to know its root cause. Describe the circumstances leading up to your anger. What your thoughts were which set you off. Then list alternative thoughts you could have and a different way of responding to that situation.
  3. Now that you have listed things which make you angry and have alternative ways to respond, take it one step further. Visualize yourself responding in a controlled, purposeful way.
  4. If you find none of the above helps learn about the Emotional Freedom Techniques and how it immediately takes the edge off, no matter where you are or what you’re doing.

By the way, your anger is not based on logic. It is purely an emotional response to feeling out of control. Instead of dealing with the real issue, it is easier to try to control the people or things around you. Taking things too personally can result in anger. The solution lies in detaching yourself. Control your emotions; don’t allow your emotions to control you.

Assignment: Learn what makes you angry. Anger and control are closely related. Become familiar with other emotions which trigger anger including resentment, exasperation, rage and fury. Many more uncomfortable emotions are expressed as anger.

Begin to build your new vocabulary. Develop awareness of how each emotion feels for you and begin pairing the true emotion with the feeling. The next step is to stop blaming everyone else. The only thing you can do is change how you respond to something. Or just allow yourself to experience the emotion. You don’t have to do anything about them. The choice is yours.

Do you realize your emotions are affecting your performance? Once you become distracted, regaining focus becomes difficult. When you lose focus, the competition has an edge over you. It does not need to be this way. Mindset strategies make all the difference. When you know how to deal with distractions effectively, maintaining confidence, your performance improves. Inner Game for Winning Athletes System is an easy step-by-step process helping you to get out of the struggle and get back in the game with renewed energy. Winners act with speed. If you are reading this and it feels true for you, then get in touch with Loren for a FREE Discovery Session at info@innergameforwinningathletes.com

Author's Bio: 

And now I would like to invite you to claim your FREE Start-up Kit "How to Avoid the 7 Biggest Mistakes Athletes Unknowingly Make" available at: => http://innergameforwinningathletes.com/

Click here to receive the inner game secrets to reaching your goal and begin building more confidence for winning results during competitions.

From Loren Fogelman, the Sports Performance Consultant, founder of Inner Game for Winning Athletes.com