Feeling Some Pressure?

Practice and tryouts are well underway now for our college and high school soccer players. It’s an intense and often stressful time as players feel the pressure to prove themselves, perform and earn a spot or playing time.

Funny thing about pressure … it’s mostly self-induced. Seth Godin has a great post today about it on his blog. You can read it here and it’s definitely worth the two minutes it takes to check it out.

How do we know the pressure we often feel is coming from ourselves. ” Because, as Godin says, stuff that felt high pressure a year ago is old hat to you now.” You’ve been there, done that and, in most cases learned how to make it work for you. As he says, ” Because not only do you get used to it, you thrive on it.” It’s one of the reasons we play the game – the joy and satisfaction of overcoming a challenge.

New experiences, new situations are challenging to be sure but, challenge and pressure aren’t the same thing. The challenge is in striving for the goal and in overcoming the obstacles that often sit in the way. Pressure comes from what we’re thinking and how we’re feeling as we approach them. My favorite line in his post is this: ” Unless you’re in a James Bond movie, it’s really unlikely that the pressure you’re feeling is anything but self-induced.”

Those first two weeks are a challenge. They’re supposed to be. As far as any pressure you might be feeling – if it isn’t helping  you meet the challenge – maybe it’s not worth holding on to. Maybe you want to let it go until the next time you actually are being chased by underworld villains.

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