From Nervous to Excited: How Elite Athletes Channel Their Emotions and How You Can Too

Insight from a competition workshop

I was fortunate to have the opportunity design and implemented competition workshops for various martial art academies, and I am excited to share a key insight from those workshops with you.


Upon reviewing older Olympic games, I noticed that interviewers frequently asked athletes if they were nervous. In response, the athletes consistently replied, "no, I'm excited." This sparked my realization that elite-level athletes have been trained to channel their nervous energy into excitement. Through their training, they have developed a mindset that views nervousness not as a negative feeling, but as fuel for excitement.


We have all experienced nervousness in various situations, such as academic exams, rank promotions, or asking out our first crush. However, how we handle these feelings can greatly impact the outcome. Personal growth often begins with stepping out of one's comfort zone.

Consider the benefits of consistently approaching challenging situations with excitement instead of nervousness. Such a mindset opens the door to trying new things, building relationships, and fostering personal growth. Moreover, choosing to view nerve-wracking moments as exciting can reduce worries about the future and allow us to be more present in the moment.


In my recent workshops, I noticed that many preteens and young adults struggle with anxiety and feel unable to leave their comfort zones. I am not suggesting that these individuals do not experience anxiety. Rather, I propose that they can interpret their nerves differently, as excitement, similar to how elite athletes do. Through structured drills and exercises, participants in my workshops learned to control their emotions and view their nerves in a new light.

The gear shift in their minds was rewarding, and I saw a positive change in their outlook towards challenges. Choosing how to react to our feelings, regardless of the situation, is a valuable life skill that fosters personal growth and positive conversations.


Recently, during a rank promotion opportunity, I received videos from students who responded to the interviewer's question, "Are you nervous about today?" with "No, sir, I'm excited!" Imagine the benefits of consistently interpreting nerve-wrecking situations as exciting in everyday life.

I hope this insight inspires you to approach challenges with a new perspective and sparks positive growth in your personal and professional life.

© Copyright. All rights reserved

We need your consent to load the translations

We use a third-party service to translate the website content that may collect data about your activity. Please review the details in the privacy policy and accept the service to view the translations.