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turtle4130
Anytime I am about to get into the gate for my moto my nerves take over and I loose complete concentration on what i am about to do. My gate suffers bad! I barley get into the gate and get setup before the gate drops, i am shaking, cant get a grip. i have been told to concentrate on where you want to be going into the first turn, but hell I can barley get in the gate and get set up. In practice I am fine no worries but once the motos start i cant get over my nerves. any suggestions?
mannequinforce
That means you are having fun man! But seriously. Just concentrate on getting set up. And focus on yourself only and getting to the first obstacle first.
Deanna
Breathe. It's amazing what some deep breaths do to calm the nerves before the gate drops :-)
RCain
When you are in line doing gate practice stop, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Memorize the feeling of just being here doing gates, no pressure, just waitng in line to do gates.

When your in line for the motos, take a few deep breaths and remember that your only waiting in line to do a gate. Let the race play out as it may after the gate drops, you can worry about that when you're high fivin' at the finish line.
The Riddler Al-F
Everything they said..To expand on what Mannequinforce said just concentrate on you...just think of how you set up in the gate and get good form...breathe...find a focal point, spot on the front tire/stem/etc That keeps you from looking/wondering about the guys next to you.

Yep that one is good, don't worry about them, they may try and play you if you do.
949
QUOTE (turtle4130 @ Nov 19 2009, 06:49 PM) *
Anytime I am about to get into the gate for my moto my nerves take over and I loose complete concentration on what i am about to do. My gate suffers bad! I barley get into the gate and get setup before the gate drops, i am shaking, cant get a grip. i have been told to concentrate on where you want to be going into the first turn, but hell I can barley get in the gate and get set up. In practice I am fine no worries but once the motos start i cant get over my nerves. any suggestions?


+1.

Ive got a stumpy gate and have a good snap on it, get to a race and I can barely balance let alone get a good snap. tonight after racing the guys commented on how good my practice starts were but my race ones are rubbish...


FaithBMX
Practice/repetition

I try to think about anything but the gate.
I try to blank out in the gate.
The more I "concentrate" on it the more nervous I get and the worse I do.
beamer
think of it this way...no one is shooting live bullets at you.
in other words your probably not going to die maybe just get beat.
it always worked for me.
Bikemonkeys
QUOTE
Practice/repetition
and Race more.
Kamikaze kid
I have the same problem. At practice and most local races I'm fine. But at the Redline Cup Finals east I raced and looked like a monkey "you know whating" a football on the gate & hill. Crazy thing is, this is my track and I could probably ride it with my eyes closed, backwards.

Just couldn't figure out why I couldn't' focus and was so nervous about something I've done hundreds of times before in the same place....
Meattray
Xanax with a Redbull chaser!
JerryW
Convert that nervousness to adrenaline and you're good to go!
FaithBMX
Even after 26+ years of racing, as recent as this past summer I almost passed out from being so nervous in staging. The major cause of this was a lack of training and time off of the bike. I just didn't have the quiet confidence that comes from hours on the bike and 100's of practice gates.
turtle4130
I have tried the breathing thing, it helps but the noise of people talking and also me not knowing anyone kinda sucks and takes away from breathing!
Dexter
Turtle!! I used to get the same thing when I was racing cars (SCCA stuff), I used to way overthink the whole race, but after a few runs I started tuning out the world and turning up the stereo with RUSH just blasting, my lap times dropped considerably and I was alot calmer on the track, get yourself some headphones and turn them up enough so you can still hear the cadence.. it worked for me...
The Riddler Al-F
Sometimes the best thing you can do is remove the pressure you put on yourself, if you did your sprints, gate practices, work out, etc don't spend race day pressuring yourself about results.

I usually do best when I have been training but then on race day I tell myself, whatever happens happens and who cares what the other guy is doing. As easy as that is to do, it can be hard to remember.
jackie
QUOTE (Dexter @ Nov 19 2009, 02:41 PM) *
Turtle!! I used to get the same thing when I was racing cars (SCCA stuff), I used to way overthink the whole race, but after a few runs I started tuning out the world and turning up the stereo with RUSH just blasting, my lap times dropped considerably and I was alot calmer on the track, get yourself some headphones and turn them up enough so you can still hear the cadence.. it worked for me...



Do gates over and over and over until it is automatic and you can focus on the other important things. I mean over and over until your muscles just do what you have trained them to do. Gate practice for me is minimum 20 gates.....I dont do full runs, just the gate - I also practice the balancing part until it is totally comfortable whether sitting or standing.
turtle4130
I did the headphone thing at NBL Grands on the last moto it sure did help but you cant ride them them on any more. all this advise is amazing! I do need more track so just like you said before that might be a problem too! Thanks guys this advise is amazing keep it coming, i am not alone on this situation.
Dan Mleczko
This will sound counter intuitive but i talk myself into not caring what i get as a result. releases the pressure and lets me have fun with it and i usually get the result my ability allows anyway..
sjaquay
Deep breaths and I usually do a couple leg stretches while in staging to relieve some of the tension. Dont over think it either.
DoranB
I've been racing on and off for 20+ years and still get nervous. That nervousness is what makes me want to haul @zz and be out front. The more you race, the more you will think of it as adrenaline and not being nervous. Keep hitting the races and it will get better. It's kind of like your first day at school when you were a kid....eventually you got used to it.
ihailfromohio
QUOTE (JerryW @ Nov 19 2009, 02:04 PM) *
Convert that nervousness to adrenaline and you're good to go!



everyone has been throwing out some good advice. studies have been conducted that says you can actually compete BETTER when you are somewhat nervous. it releases some testosterone and gets you pumped up. I understand that too much nervousness is a problem, as youre stating here, but maybe just remember that some nervousness is actually GOOD! and if the guys next to you arent nervous at all, you have an edge over them! maybe turning it from a negative to a positive will help out??

you would be shocked if you saw some of the nervousness going on behind the AA gate.

deep breathing. shake the nervousness out too.literally, SHAKE your arms and hands like youre shrugging it off of you. helps me.
FaithBMX
QUOTE (Dan Mleczko @ Nov 19 2009, 02:51 PM) *
This will sound counter intuitive but i talk myself into not caring what i get as a result. releases the pressure and lets me have fun with it and i usually get the result my ability allows anyway..

That's funny! I thought I was the only one who thought that way.
I almost have to not want to be at the race to do well. I know it sounds weird, but it is what works for me. I tell myself, "I could care less about this race. It means nothing to me. I can't wait to get home and see my wife and daughter." That's the best way for me to calm my nerves in staging.

My best finishes ever came at races where I almost didn't even sign up (had to be talked into one of them).
Antagonist
Develop a pre-gate routine (nothing too weird), just a ritual that you go thru to help you "manage" your nerves and prepare your body and mind for the task ahead.
Think about your preparation (you are ready, your bike is prepared, you have earned your spot here), some ballistic stretching and deep breaths. On the gate, focus on doing what you practiced.

My best performances have been when I "got in the zone" - an almost dreamlike state where I can't hear anything, and just react intuitively to other riders - no controlled substances were involved! And Yes, some nervousness is needed, but not to the point of being catatonic. wacko.gif
Yeah, it's just a race! biggrin.gif
turtle4130
QUOTE (Antagonist @ Nov 19 2009, 09:42 AM) *
Develop a pre-gate routine (nothing too weird), just a ritual that you go thru to help you "manage" your nerves and prepare your body and mind for the task ahead.
Think about your preparation (you are ready, your bike is prepared, you have earned your spot here), some ballistic stretching and deep breaths. On the gate, focus on doing what you practiced.

My best performances have been when I "got in the zone" - an almost dreamlike state where I can't hear anything, and just react intuitively to other riders - no controlled substances were involved! And Yes, some nervousness is needed, but not to the point of being catatonic. wacko.gif
Yeah, it's just a race! biggrin.gif



Yea i have tried this but its never the same. haha I just need more track time to get into a routine to where it comes natural getting into stagging and then into the gate!
tsmith9233
My trainer keeps reminding me it is just a bmx race... also says a series of deep breaths in staging.. I have found that the Ipod is my friend, some up tempo music, loud enough to drown out everything except the starter and the gate...good luck, if you come up with something, be sure to let the rest of us know so we may try it too...
ReedRothchild
I agree all of these suggestions are good! might even try some of these techniques for myself, I've been racing a while and past few yrs I've been racing on and off through out the season and I notice that each time I get back on the gate after time off I'm shaky. the only cure is to race more. I can practice 15 hours a week and never get the same feeling as when it's a real race. oh one other thing don't worry about what other people think you look like on the gate, that alone can make you more nervous than the race or gate start itself. once you get a routine it will all work out.

just my two--

Brandon002
When you get on the gate remember that you're there to have fun. It doesn't matter if you win, lose etc... It's a hobby and we do it because we enjoy it. Chat up your competition in staging to keep your mind off of things. Just stay loose and have a good time, that's what it's all about. I had the same problem with nerves, one day I decided to say "F-it" when I got on the gate and ended up beating two experts my first go around (I'm an inter), they asked me at the finish line where that came from. Since then it's been loose going and good times all around.
Todd E
To get a good focus on your upcoming race about 5-10 gates before yours start looking towards the first turn. Envision a double waffle plate, a glass of milk and a syrup jug from Waffle House sitting there. You have to get to the first turn first to claim the righteous grub. Focus on the Waffle House goodness that awaits your racing efforts and you'll snap like a champ. sun_bespectacled.gif

headsnap
'We can dance if we want to
We can leave your friends behind
'Cause your friends don't dance and if they don't dance
Well they're.... beep beep beep beeeeeeep!!!!'

find a gate song, a song to run through your head as you are in the gate to help you focus and calm down(mine happens to be Safety Dance cool.gif ).

Also, let your fingers dangle til you snap... this will help your arms stay relaxed.
Watch my fingers in the shadow in this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aqf6ZabadbI


Cannonball1
As you get in the gate, start making 2-stroke motorcycle sounds. Real. Loud. Wing-ing-ing-ing...Wing-ing-ing-ing

As the gate drops, BRAAAAAAAAAAPPPPPPPPPPP!

Seriously. Who cares with the other guys think.
turtle4130
QUOTE (Cannonball1 @ Nov 19 2009, 04:29 PM) *
As you get in the gate, start making 2-stroke motorcycle sounds. Real. Loud. Wing-ing-ing-ing...Wing-ing-ing-ing

As the gate drops, BRAAAAAAAAAAPPPPPPPPPPP!

Seriously. Who cares with the other guys think.


i lke this one! haha!
bmxcommentator
Some good tips on here... I'll just throw my .02 in if I may...

1. Deep breaths - get some oxygen into your system, lower your blood pressure and calm your nerves. Simple but effective.

2. Get a proper warm up done - it will help you get into the right frame of mind. Mind and body are interconnected so that will definitely help.

3. Get into staging as late as possible - my nerves only ever really kicked in when I lined up in the chute so I used to leave it late, even running straight through onto the gate, setting up and going. You don't have the time to panic...

4. Grab a pen and a sheet of A4 paper, then write down a running commentary of the perfect race prep and gate as you would see it through your own eyes in real time (not slow-mo). Utilise every sense, what you'd see, hear and feel and make sure you have everything go perfectly. To write it down you actually have to imagine it in order to make sense of it. Then, read it through 5 times in your mind and 5 times out loud daily till you can actuate the necessary feelings 'on demand'. Once you get to the gate you should be able to get the feelings of confidence pretty much instantly. Try it, it works.
kidagain
I told my daughter I was nervous at a race and she said sing "im' a little teapot". I swear it works well.....Allen Godfrey
Giant
Rub a little icey hot on the fellows before you go to staging you will forget all about being in the gate
boozer
Try a cold beer before the race's. Boozer Mike!!!!
BS
QUOTE (turtle4130 @ Nov 18 2009, 09:49 PM) *
How to get over my nerves when I get in the gate?

You don't. Isn't it great?
workman
For some reason i yawn to calm down. Don't know why it justed started happening
Tim Earp
Find something silly to laugh at before getting to the gate- for a good one re-read this thread from the start and replace gate with date. Thanks Lonewolf. Laughter is a great way to release tension.
bradshimmin
Cool topic here.

For me, I do the Qigong breathing exercise Keanu uses in the bathroom at the beginning of "Johnny Mnemonic." Chicks dig it. sun_bespectacled.gif

Seriously, for me the one thing that makes a huge difference in fighting fear/anxiety/etc. is to try to realize that once the gate drops, the me that's worrying will no longer exists...at least for 30 seconds or so. What remains is the me that feels like a kid, flying over the dirt, having a blast.

Think of it this way. The entire enterprise of BMX racing is about muscle memory. We don't ponder our way through a race. We train our bodies to go as fast as possible on the race track. While we're out there, we're not thinking deep, contemplative about really anything. We're just reacting to the situation at hand. The body is running the race. The brain is simply along for the ride, providing necessary course corrections here and there. So trust the body, forget the brain.

When I'm able to realize that, I can sit in staging and feel nothing but anticipation for the moment when the gate will drop, when the me that's worrying will be no more, leaving behind the me that's having a freaking blast laying down some rubber (or picking up some dirt, depending...)

As mentioned earlier, along with that I try to

1) breath in deeply through my nose, hold my breath in my lower abdomen for a few seconds and then push it all out through my mouth about five times in a row.
2) enjoy talking with the guys/gals around me in staging (a really good method for lessening stress)
3) develop a ritual for putting on my gloves and helmet, for setting up in the gate, etc. Seems small, but it works.

Cheers,
b.
turtle4130
i am glad to hear i am not the only one! Thank you all for the suggestions and for makin me laugh at some of the suggestions! i will try these methods out and let you know what happens. Thanks again

Tim
FaithBMX
QUOTE (NMKY @ Nov 19 2009, 10:49 PM) *
Some good tips on here... I'll just throw my .02 in if I may...

1. Deep breaths - get some oxygen into your system, lower your blood pressure and calm your nerves. Simple but effective.

2. Get a proper warm up done - it will help you get into the right frame of mind. Mind and body are interconnected so that will definitely help.

3. Get into staging as late as possible - my nerves only ever really kicked in when I lined up in the chute so I used to leave it late, even running straight through onto the gate, setting up and going. You don't have the time to panic...

4. Grab a pen and a sheet of A4 paper, then write down a running commentary of the perfect race prep and gate as you would see it through your own eyes in real time (not slow-mo). Utilise every sense, what you'd see, hear and feel and make sure you have everything go perfectly. To write it down you actually have to imagine it in order to make sense of it. Then, read it through 5 times in your mind and 5 times out loud daily till you can actuate the necessary feelings 'on demand'. Once you get to the gate you should be able to get the feelings of confidence pretty much instantly. Try it, it works.

Great, Rich; now put it into effect at a race!!!
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