Contest Anxiety

I’ve devoted pretty much every minute of my spare time for the past couple months preparing my freestyle routine for the NER, my first contest. I’m pretty proud of the material I came up with and I have it down well for the most part. Since it’s only two days away I started doing mock run-throughs, and I just can’t get it all right! I always make some stupid mistake that messes everything up, and I’m starting to get really frustrated and nervous. I don’t expect to do well at the contest, but if I go on stage and completely screw up, that’s gonna be pretty upsetting. Any tips for preparing for the contest and/or reducing my anxiety?

I’ve never competed, but I have done class plays and presentations and other such performances so I know that if you keep thinking you’re gonna do really badly, you probably will. I would be nervous, too. Really nervous, actually! But hey, take a deep breath, keep practicing, wait until you get a perfect run-through, and take a little break on a high note! I’ve never competed, but I know what it’s like to be nervous. Good luck! :slight_smile:

Thank! My run-throughs are slowly getting better, but as soon as I’ve perfect one combo I can’t seem to get another one perfect for the life of me! Well, I guess I’ll be doing a LOT of practice tomorrow.

Practice in front of other people. Practice in public. If you’re afraid of people seeing you yoyo than you’re probably gonna be nervous in front of a croud on stage.

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Oh I’m not afraid of performing in front of people. I might even perform marginally better when I’m in the school halls where everyone can see me. Anyway, I think I’ve got it under control (hopefully). By the end of tomorrow I should have a close to perfect routine as long as I keep chill about it. any other advice is welcome, though.

The more you compete the better off your anxiety will get. I have competed a good ammount of times and even still I get a bit nervous before I get on stage. It has gotten a lot better but it just takes time. Also like Jet said, practice in front of people a bit. There are a good ammount of people watching you when you compete so having a few eyes on you while you are yoyoing in public isn’t a bad idea.

The #1 most important thing you can do while running through your performance is rather than envisioning yourself on stage and being concerned with missing tricks, envision yourself having fun on stage.

If you’re stressing out, you’ll miss tricks. The more fun you have on stage, the better you’ll perform, and the more people will enjoy your performance.

Trust me - changing your mind set while practicing makes a massive difference.

Oh, and another thing, try to get as much stage experience as you can. See if you can hang around after school and use the school’s stage to practice on. Familiarize yourself with the environment.

NER will be my 5th time on stage… My outlook is this (I do sports 1A)

A. Have fun
B. Do not take it to serious.
C. Do not plan out an “actual” routine.
D. Have fun

I do it for fun… I like the rush being on stage and I LOVE the music…

I do push myself by adding elements of tricks and new moves each time but I never take it serious and I have fun… My first time I planned out the whole minute and when it went south I did not know what to do… Now its just all about the flow…

But yes… Yoyoing in front of others helps a TON!!! I will be there to cheer you on though!!! Come find me… I will be the old bald guy with all the purple/green yoyos!!!

Also, just be… All will be ok… remember its just a yoyo… :slight_smile:

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Whoa! Whoa! “just” a yoyo? This is serious, serious business! Life and death!

@Hendy - if it’s you’re first time performing, just look at this as a learning experience and an opportunity to get a feel for what it’s like to be on stage. And a chance to have fun!

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One of things I remembered about preparing for a contest and dealing with anxiety is that you need to adjust your mind to the situation of being on stage.

One of the tips that was told to me by Augie is how the mind works psychologically. When people throw, they usually do it off alone in a casual calm manner. The body gets used to this too much and when you compete, your heart rate goes crazy and you sweat and the panic sets in.

However, instead of throwing in a calm manner, try and get your heart rate up first every time you try and do a run for your freestyle. Do some jumping jacks or jog around a little. If you keep doing this it builds up your nerves and thus when you are on stage, you’ll be able to go faster and hit your material better.

Trust me on this.


In a similar note, I’m HORRIBLY shy and introverted, yet dj. I’ve found that when performing, it helps to remember that you already know how to do it. The trick hasn’t changed, only the stakes. If you can do it, and remember that you can do it, you’ll get a major confidence boost.

And hey, Paul Han 2011 worlds prelim. It’s highly unlikely to go THAT bad.

this is my problem, i dont think i could ever compete anytime soon, lol ill miss a string catch and whack myself in the head when people watch me and they all laugh i turn beat red n stuff. Lol thats the only time i hit myself, infront of people, if its a bigger crowd i miss a lotttttttttttt but they still love it! Go to your local mall tomorrow and stand in the food court infront of everybody with your headphones in and music on and throw! That would be good stage practice food courts are packed bro

Thanks for the help guys! I’ve been doing more run-throughs with a calm, positive attitude and I think I’m set! I mean, I still haven’t been able to do a perfect routine, but most of the mistakes are ones I’ve learned to work around without too much of a fuss. I’m also doing a talent show audition/rehearsal/whatever (the organizer didn’t specify, just the time I should come), so that should be some good stage practice.

JUST A YOYO!?!?! Do you recall what YYJ said!?

“Life is a game, yoyoing is serious!”-YoYoJam

That’s true. Yoyoing is serious. But it’s also serious fun :slight_smile:

My first performance was at the world yoyo contest. I thought the routine was ok. But when I got on the stage I got REALY nervous. I messed up a bunch. I was suppose to get aim a double or nothing mount I came up with, but did a ladder mount. I rank 7th from last. But people said I did good. People I didn’t even know. So yoyoers these days are REALY nice guys.

As someone who still REGULARLY (i.e. EVERY DANG TIME I COMPETE) deals with brain shattering nervousness… here are a few things I’ve found helpful over the years:

  1. Practice. Know your routine in and out. If you know your tricks back and forth, and what comes next… you won’t sweat it (as badly) when a screw-up happens.

  2. Deep breaths. Specifically… About a minute before you go on stage, push your index and middle finger into the artery in your neck (not too hard) and take your pulse… in through the nose… out through the mouth. I got this tip from Boyd right before the first contest I ever won… it’s helped me out ever since!

  3. Eliminate variables. Wash your hands about 3-4 minutes before you go on if your palms get sweaty (like mine do). If you’re competing outside, use a dry aerosol deoderant (Arrid XX works great!) and spray your hands to combat humidity. Set up your back up yoyos with fresh strings and make sure they’re all knot-free.

  4. Don’t just pick a song that you like… pick a song that you’re REALLY comfortable with. Personally… every time I’ve won a contest or come really close… I’ve used music from mewithoutYou. I wouldn’t say that they’re a “lucky charm” or anything like that… but there’s something to be said for being comfortable in your own skin when you’re on stage and not worrying about whether your song is going to appeal to the crowd. (within reason… I really like some metal bands… but I don’t think I’d ever use them on stage haha)

  5. Have fun. Remember that people don’t form their opinion of you as a person based on whether or not your freestyle was “good”. People like you for who you are.

  6. If you’re really competing seriously… try not to take the other competitors freestyles too seriously. It becomes way too easy to psych yourself out and go, "oh man… there’s no way I’m as good as player-X… " when I pay too close of attention… I get even MORE nervous. Just watch the freestyles to enjoy them… then tip #5 is a LOT easier.

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I know what that’s like, but don’t fret comparatively I guarantee your better than most kids and most especially me. Besides plenty of people will be there cheering you on.

I’ll see you there,
regards JDR

This might be a little late, but tonight just play around and figure out flashy ways to correct yourself if you do have any mess-ups. Also, keep in mind that its just a contest; no one is going to think any less of you for messing up something. And if you do happen to mess up, don’t go “ohcrapohcrapohcrapohcrap”, because that’ll fluster you and cause you to make even more mistakes. Just laugh it off and keep going

its hard for me to find music because I usually listen to punk rock- limp bizkit, papa roach-- because most of their songs are explicit. But I luck out because I like some dubstep.