Considered one of the greatest athletes of all time, Argentinian soccer player Lionel Messi needs no introduction to the masses. With a record of receiving the coveted Ballon d’Or seven times and the feat of winning the FIFA World Cup in 2022 under his belt, Messi has carved his niche along the most respected corners of history.
But as fit, strong, and capable as Messi is on the field, he is also open about the struggles that he faces with anxiety. If you are wondering how does Messi manage anxiety to become one of the most celebrated athletes in history, the following information might be of interest to you.
How Does Messi Manage Anxiety?
Messi manages anxiety by giving himself time to prepare before and even during the game. To execute this approach, the star player refrains from engaging with his team on the field for the first few minutes of every match. Instead, he hangs back and prepares himself to perform with the utmost control on his body and mind.
This approach might seem contradictory to a star player who might be expected to give it their all every minute of a big match. But it clearly works for Messi, who is able to outperform nearly every other person on the field most of the time.
To execute this approach, Messi takes the first few minutes of every match to calm himself about any apprehensions that he has with the game and his performance. Once the soccer legend is in a less anxious state, he starts observing the field to have more control over his actions. In turn, he becomes able to use his body and mind in unison to the best of his abilities, without anxious thoughts getting in his way.
Messi Takes Time to Compose Himself and Acts When He Has Full Control of his Body
Anxiety affects more than the mental processes of your mind: It also has a great impact on the way your body reacts during an anxiety attack or even while feeling serious signs of the condition. This sets off different symptoms including but not limited to stomach churns, nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, and trouble breathing.
During the early years of his career, Messi had a reputation for throwing up on the field and going to the bathroom multiple times before games. But after giving himself time to calm down before and during big matches, he has been able to keep these issues at bay for the world to see.
So exactly how does Messi manage anxiety? The answer is not as elaborate as you may think it is. It is a simple method of taking some time, assess what you are feeling, let yourself calm down, and act after you have taken control of the situation.
This is similar to the RAIN approach, which calls for you to identify your feelings, let them pass, learn about what your thoughts are in the moment, and observe things around you until the challenge passes. While the practice may take some time to master, it can help you effectively manage your anxiety in the long run.