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Fear of Failure and How to Overcome Fear …Part 1

I decided to write about “Fear of Failure” and how to “Overcome Fear” as it is something that all my athletes have had to face on their way to becoming a CHAMPION. Both Rocky and Paola had to face it at the 2011 US Open Championships as well as the 2011 Pan American Championships…both times they made it to the finals playing against their rivals.

Championship Racquetball” Sports Triangle….Tips from the Coach!

So many people that compete live in FEAR, no matter what the sport. Racquetball is no different. Our sports psychologist, Diana McNab, says F.E.A.R.= False Expectations Appearing Real. It is self-created and personal, and is an interpretation of a situation athletes believe is threatening to them.

Fear of failure happens when you allow your mind to get out of the now, projecting into the future instead. So every shot you hit is reactive and tight because your mind is not in the flow of the game or the timing of the shot. You have lost 30 percent of your reach and stretch because your mind is constricted and in the future. When your self-esteem rests on your end-results in sport, you are much too vulnerable. The key is to know that you are a champion all of the time. Confidence should have nothing to do with your win–loss record. Do not personalize your losses, just keep working on your game. Every obstacle in your life is offering you a lesson to be learned. The courageous athletes say, “Bring it on!”

Real winners know that losing means they need to work on specific skills, strategies, or techniques. They are not defeated in life because they didn’t win a match; they are winners in life because they are willing to go back into the trenches and work even harder on their game.

Fear is an emotion that comes from negative expectations, so visualize a positive outcome and keep taking baby steps to get there. Never give in or give up, and amazing things will happen…like to Rocky, Paola, Taylor, and Sharon. Next month Diana, Dan and I will share with you how to “Overcome Fear” by using the Sports Racquetball Triangle.

For details on more personalized instruction, a weekend camp, instructional DVD’s, our book, “Championship Racquetball,” and more, please visit

Fran Davis is a 2004 racquetball Hall of Fame inductee, Racquetball Woman of the Year 2009, Coach #2 IRT Pro Player, Rocky Carson; Coach #1 Women’s Pro Player, Paola Longoria; Coach Jr. World & National Champion, Intercollegiate Champion, & #18 IRT Pro Player, Taylor Knoth; Coach Intercollegiate Champion & #25 WPRO Pro Player, Sharon Jackson; Master Professional Instructor/Coach USAR-IP.  IRT.  International Racquetball Tour.