Why do we get Nervous?

Today is testing day for me. My cycling club has set up a nice area for us to basically do the beep test on a bike. Every three minutes the wattage will increase by 25 until I break down and cannot continue. I am extremely nervous for this. My stomach hurts and I feel light headed but why is this? How come my body knows to get nervous before a race or in this case an intense athletic test.

The nerves come from the fear of failure. In practice it doesn’t matter whether you fail a set, it all to improve your fitness but racing and testing have the unknown of not achieving what you should. It’s a known fact amongst any athletes. We all know the feeling of stepping up to the line, getting ready to start a race, and feel our stomachs churning. This is all due to the build up in our heads and expectations that we place on ourselves.

Salvatore Puccio from Sky team on the streets of Ljubljana, Slovenia (c) Petar Milošević
CC BY-SA 4.0
Here is an athlete racing. Even pros can get nervous too. 

How to reduce anxiety in performance athletes

All of these techniques will reduce the stress and anxiety that your body feels before a race. Next time you feel your heat racing, mouth uncomfortably dry try couple of the tips above and most importantly believe in yourself and the training you have done.  

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