Sports Anxiety

By Barbara Radin Fox 

Every athlete, from the weekend golfer to a professional basketball superstar, can have their performance affected by stress or anxiety.

Whether it is missing a 3-foot putt, “choking” on a crucial free throw at game's end or freezing in a close-game situation, tension is a common aspect of sports. And tension or anxiety usually hurts an athlete's performance—not helps it.

What I offer is a simple method that helps reduce the anxiety or pressure an athlete feels in certain situations. We all know golfers who can drive the ball a mile off the practice tee and hit every putt on the practice green, or basketball players sink free throw after free throw in the practice gym or soccer players whose shots and passes are always on target during practice.

In game situations, however, that same athlete's performance is changed by the pressure to succeed, particularly when the game is on the line or when thousands are watching (and often harassing the player).

My method is called EMDR, a short-term, non-medical technique that helps players reduce the anxiety they feel in high-pressure situations. My therapy requires only 2 to 4 sessions, and results usually show up within three weeks. EMDR is not hypnosis, nor is it magic.

The technique has been used successfully to treat fears and other conditions for more than a decade by the federal government, the VA and private practitioners. What I do different is take the technique and apply it to sports and professional situations where performance anxiety can severely affect a person's performance.

Barbara Radin Fox is the founder of Body and Soul Therapy® and The Fox Performance Coaching Institute. Barbara is a Licensed Independent Social Worker and has a Masters in Education. She sees clients at Body & Soul, 2045 Maybank Hwy, James Island, SC, as well as in offices in Seabrook Island, Mt Pleasant and Goose Creek. For more information call 843-795-1100.