Rugby kickers who struggle with technical issue in their game often become anxious when these situations arise in a game. Anxiety can increase stress and frustration around their current performance and this is something we work with player on often. We will often in these situations tell players to ‘become big’ with their body posture and then attempt the kick again. We have found that this small change can play huge dividends in the outcome of the next kick.
Impact of ‘Becoming Big’:
This pause allows you to reset, slowing down the action making everything more deliberate. What you will often find is their is a corresponding improvement in accuracy and control of the kick. The focus on ‘being big’ in the kick allows us to take a moment to appreciate what we are doing physically. In a pressure situation, the natural, subconscious impulse is for the body to become smaller and more tense. Therefore ‘becoming bigger’ allows you to stretch out and counter the subconscious physical inhibitors. Alongside this taking a few deep breaths will help reduce anxiety and help you control the moment.
Phycological Impact on Performance:
‘Becoming Big’ doesn’t just affect the physical but also provides phycological advantages. In sports a common term used by commentators is that ‘their heads have dropped’, this demonstrates a link between mental surrender and body language. As the mindset of a losing team can inform body language, we can then assume the opposite would be correct also. Therefore, working on posture can dramatically impact your state of mind as you prepare to deliver under pressure.
Impact in Sport:
It is not just rugby kickers that can positively impacted by this posture change. Many athletes from all types of sports re-set their posture before taking on a physical act. This is particularly apparent in individual sports such as tennis and golf where mental strength is key throughout the game/round. This is also apparent during a penalty shootout. As a player walks towards the spot you can often tell the confident players to the nervous players. Often these players will have their head down as they walk forwards already putting themselves under pressure before the kick.
We hope this can help you on your path to becoming the best kicker you can be. For our other blogs click HERE as we you learn to #KickItWhenItCounts.
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