Bright lights: of the biggest issues athletes have is translating the skills they develop in the gym to the big stage. On the face of it, it should not be an issue. The lights, noise and crowd don’t change things physically. No matter where or when the stage, a triangle is still a triangle, an arm bar an arm bar. What changes is our state. We feel MORE IS AT STAKE when a crowd is watching. We all have a sense of pride and the thought of failure in front of a crowd stings. Athletes aren’t afraid of pain, suffering and in many cases, even injury. WHAT THEY IS FAILURE. When we are fearful of consequences we naturally tend to restrict our actions to only those moves and tactics we have the most confidence in. This has an immediate negative effect on our as you now will only employ a much smaller set of moves than you usually do – it’s as though you just lost half of your game. In addition, fear will make you second guess yourself whenever arises. Where normally you would jump without hesitation upon an opportunity, now you hang back. By the you act, the opportunity has passed. Thirdly, and anxiety will manifest itself physically as higher than usual muscular tension. This will result in quicker fatigue than usual, breathing problems and slower, clumsier movement. You will be aware of this as it is happening and it will compound the feelings of fear and anxiety and create a worsening cycle where performance degenerates even faster. Avoiding this fall off from gym performance to stage performance is a big part of contest preparation. Obviously it’s a huge topic, and arguably the topic about which there is the least agreement as to what the solution is. day I would like to talk about it at length. In general my approach is always to de-emphasize the difference between gym and stage. To remind the athlete that most of the differences, lights, noise, crowd etc are illusory insofar as they make no physical difference upon performance and that any negative change in performance is almost entirely the result of our own states rather than the itself.