Hewo!!! ^ ^
So a common thing I have noticed with many players, both young and old, is that the issue of performance anxiety or “stage fright” comes up from time to time.
I thought I would take the time, and talk a bit about how one might be able to break free of this anxiety that comes about, and share my own story of how I managed to break free of a bondage of stage fright.
Bach when I first started competing in 05, I had serious performance anxiety issues. I would shake on stage, focus intently on the yoyo, paying no attention to the audience, hardly breathing, and leaving the stage with a racing heart and shivering hands. It was not a fun time, and I really questioned why I would put myself through these situations.
From the earliest age, I knew that being able to perform was something that I wanted to do. Watching flowing and impressive players like Tomonari Ishiguro and Makoto Numagami would always make me wish I could do the same. But the stage fright and tenseness I felt would always get the best of me.
It is then, that I decided to take action, to once and for all get over the performance anxiety I had. I was not willing to let it take me down any longer.
I started doing performances for a variety of church youth groups, school, and other small events. I jumped into them unsure of what to do, or if I could even do it, I just knew, that if I wanted to get over this thing, I had to put myself in situations that would make me feel the same way, so that I may be able to get accustomed to the feelings, and finally overcome.
Starting out, it was not pretty. I would still shake, notice myself being tense and not moving freely, in shows when I spoke, my voice would shake and crack, sometimes stutter, but I kpe ton persisting. I started taking my performance to the streets as well, getting a variety of audiences, and over time, my performance anxiety got less and less.
Getting over and overcoming performance anxiety is a long and slow process for many. I can honestly say that despite my years and years of competitive throwing, I still deal with it from time to time, but thanks to the practice I put into putting myself out in the public eye, and learning to relax, it has been much less of an issue, and I have finally found “freedom” on the stage.
If you find yourself dealing with this same sort of thing, I encourage you, DO NOT give up! It’s something that takes much time and effort. The worst thing you can do is try to avoid it completely. Its something you got to run and take head first. Put yourself in those uncomfortable situations. At times it may feel incredibly difficult, but the reward in feeling comfortable and confident when stepping onto the stage is worth all the time and effort in the world.
There is no magic formula to it, its simply time and practice. For some it may take weeks, others (like myself) years. But regardless of time, it can be done, and I know that it’s something that anyone can overcome.
Think about that next time you feel the stage fright when out in public, instead of shying away, be bold and take a leap of faith, even if you’re shaking out of your skin, keep at it! Over time, you will prevail, and when you do, it will be magical!
Keep at it everyone!