You’ve spent so many weeks getting ready for your show. The LAST thing you want to deal with is not feeling prepared. It’s normal to be a little nervous going into the show, but stage fright shouldn’t ruin your experiences. Today let’s discuss how to get over competitor stage fright, and how you can look like an INSTANT winner on stage.
How to Get Over Competitor Stage Fright – Tips for Bikini, Figure, Fitness, Wellness, and Physique Competitors
You have worked so hard on your body, and today is the day that you get to show it off!
You get to go onstage, and wear that sparkly bikini that you bought (that probably cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars, let’s be real here).
You’ve been dieting for weeks upon weeks. And, you know you’ve been training really hard in the gym. Perhaps you’ve been working with a coach, or maybe you even coached yourself. But it’s showtime and you are scared!
You’re like a deer in headlights in fact.
Stage fright is one of those things that a lot of folks deal with when it comes to getting on stage. Especially for the very first time. But I’ll tell you what, I have seen some IFBB pros who are so nervous that they’re like shaking like a leaf on stage!
I want to help you to PREVENT that look!
Bodybuilding is Truly a Mind Game
I always say that getting on stage is a truly psychological game.
Bodybuilding, in and of itself, is actually a psychological game. The key to mastering stage fright is rooted in being able to control and calm your mind.
One of the things I’ll tell you about me is that I am a former professional dancer.
Yes honey, I was a real dancer, and I’m also a former actress (although I might be getting back into acting again). I know a thing or two about stepping on stage in front of thousands of people – or in front of cameras and having to perform live.
Truthfully, that can be such a scary thing!
I’ve taken a lot of what I learned from those experiences to the stage when I competed as an IFBB Pro – especially when I was on the Olympia stage! That probably had to be the most nervous that I’ve ever been as a competitor. In fact, I was most nervous when I was backstage, but when I stepped under the bright hot lights… Just being on stage seeing my goals become a reality, it just felt good and I have memories I’ll cherish forever.
Here are a few things I encourage you to keep in mind while on your quest to the stage.
Get Social and Network With Others
One of the tricks to master stage fright is to just learn how to, first of all, calm yourself down.
I find that having music backstage. Sitting back and calming myself by meditating. Kicking my feet up, and actually having conversations with the other competitors around me, always made me less nervous.
For new competitors, it’s easy to feel like everyone is your competition, and that you can’t talk to each other.
But, I’ve made some of the greatest friends of my life as a competitor! Part of getting on stage fearlessly while keeping yourself calm is all about being social backstage, and making yourself really comfortable.
Be Prepared By Practicing Posing – Constantly
One of the best pieces of advice I can give you is to make sure that you are practicing your posing.
Most importantly, that you are practicing your posing not only with your posing coach, but you’re also practicing in places where people can SEE you.
I always advise my clients to bring their heels to the gym – and to go into the group exercise studio to practice for at least 30 minutes. Or even better, to go somewhere on the gym floor (where people have to look at them) and practice their posing. Additionally, I like to advise clients while in between sets when they’re working out, to practice posing in the open.
This is really crucial because for a lot of you, you’re just not used to anyone staring at you! Then by the time you get to the competition, you’ve got all these eyeballs staring at you from a stage and that can be super nerve-racking.
Hence, the more you can practice, and the more you can do it in front of others, the better!
Trust Your Process, Know That You’re Ready
Trusting the fact that you’ve put in all of this work and that the judges are not mean. They love what they do! Everybody at the show loves the sport, and hopefully you love the sport too. This is your opportunity to now celebrate.
The mindset I want you to have for yourself is:
“Wow! I’m really going to go out there and shine. I put in X amount of weeks into building this body – and I want to share this with you.”
Now, where you place, well you don’t have very much control over that.
But the fact of the matter is that you can control what the experience is like, and it all starts in your mind.
Start with your shifting mindset towards the positive, and trust that you have it. Trust that you are ready, you’ve put in the hours of posing, the hours of work in the gym and in the kitchen, and because of that you have nothing to be nervous about.
This is where you want to let go and have fun!
The Final Moments On Stage Are Gone Within a Blink of an Eye
Think about this…
You’ve spent all these weeks and months (and sometimes years) getting your body to the point where you can step on that stage, and it’s over in a blink of an eye! It is a fleeting moment in time.
Sometimes you can be on stage for no more than like 10 minutes – if you’re lucky.
Especially at big huge shows like at the national level – where they’re just rushing everybody through.You’ll be lucky if your time on stage is a full 5 minutes! Yes, it’s really over that quickly.
So make the most of that time.
Enjoy that moment and have fun out there.
Because, this moment is what it’s all about at the end of the day. And you’ve earned the glory. Soak it in, own the stage, and know that you truly belong up there – fearlessly!