Raising Resilient Athletes


Competing in Front of a Big Crowd

Andrea_Henkel_Burke_Competing in Front of a Big Crowd

Stepping in front of a big crowd and hearing the loud noise as everyone cheers for their athletes is quite the feeling.

I was fortunate to compete in full stadiums, and I have to say it was a lot of fun. I also had the chance to be part of a big crowd to cheer on athletes. That was a lot of fun too. 

Often athletes get the question, if it is a lot of pressure, performing in front of thousands of people in a stadium and millions more on TV. It might be, but this pressure doesn´t need to be something bad. Most athletes thrive by having lots of eyes watching them.

Also, if you could choose to race in front of a big crowd vs. an empty stadium, I would choose the big crowd. Sport is fascinating and exciting, not only because of the competition itself but the whole event.

Just picture you or your athlete winning a medal. Which athlete would not like to be celebrated by all the spectators in the stadium? This exciting setup lifts up all the emotions to a very special feeling. That is what makes it so worth training, sweating, and missing some parties.

It is not only about the celebration of the top three athletes. Everyone counts, and everyone can take advantage of all the fans in an arena.

When athletes get to the start line, they are doing the same thing they are doing in training, just with many watching them. Spectators are there to support, they want to see athletes doing well. They want to have a good time, they want to celebrate their heroes. They are not there to distract anyone, they want the best for the ones they follow most closely. Usually, they don´t want to see someone fail. If they want to see someone struggling, then only for the reason, that someone else will succeed.

Even when one team is playing against another one. It is much more fun watching a tight game than one that is uneven. It´s also much more fun to win or even lose a tight game than a boring one. That´s when the crowd goes wild, and what elevates the special feel for athletes even more. A feeling that is worth some nervosity and pressure, even when it can be a bit intimidating.

When competing in front of a big crowd, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

  • First, you want to be prepared mentally and physically. Make sure you're in the right frame of mind and that you're physically ready to compete. This comes back to training. Feeling strong physically helps a lot mentally.
  • Second, you want to be aware of your surroundings and the crowd's energy. Use it to your advantage and let it push you to perform your best.
  • Finally, you want to enjoy the experience. Not everyone gets the opportunity, so take it all in and have fun.

When telling yourself how hard it is to compete in front of big crowds, you make it hard for yourself. You will miss out on an amazing experience, the struggle is almost predicted, and it´s not possible to perform the best possible. This would prove to you that it is hard to compete with many eyes watching. 

Enjoy every crowd, small or huge! It´s a great and lasting motivation.

Do you have a Dream? Keep going towards it :)


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