Nerves and performance anxiety happen to everyone and in this episode of the “Mental Side of XTERRA” Evan Pardi explains how to be aware of them, channel them, and ultimately, conquer them.
“Nerves are the worst, I’ve been dealing with them for most of my life as a professional classical musician and as a triathlete,” said Pardi, who performs regularly with the Phoenix Symphony, Arizona Broadway Theatre, and others.
“Nerves manifest themselves in different ways for different people. For me personally, when I get nervous I have to pump myself up to get excited about the task at hand. For some, it’s a physical manifestation and for others – they can be calm and cool on the outside and freaking out inside their head. So the first step is to identify what kind of nerves you have.”
Next, Pardi explains, is to implement one of three strategies – the “Superman,” the “One More Step,” or the “River Flow.”
“In the Superman theory, we visualize we can do no wrong and conquer anything. The one more step idea is just that, to focus only on the next immediate step. For example in triathlon, get to the first buoy, get to the next buoy, etc., so we are only focusing on the next tiny little part. And then with the river flow idea, we acknowledge our anxiety and let it flow through us. Every action happens and then it goes away like a river flowing downstream. I use this method for the bike stage a lot, it helps to keep errors in the past.”
The main thing, says Pardi, is to know you are not alone.
“Nerves and performance anxiety are completely relatable,” he added. “I’ve talked to musicians who have done thousands of performances and still get nervous. To manage those feelings, try one of these strategies and see what works best for you.”
Pardi has spent the better part of two decades working on things like stage fright, performance anxiety, and nerves in general. In the coming weeks Pardi will share what he has learned in the process and really show the relevance between musical performance and athletic races.
Mental Side of XTERRA