Being nervous is okay, but only a little. "Nerves is an ever-present thing, whether you're the best in the world or a developing athlete. This is something everyone should understand and learn to deal with. If you allow yourself to get too nervous or too excited right before or during a competition, then your muscles will tighten up and you'll perform poorly. We asked some professional Table Tennis athletes - How do they deal with nerves at big tournament? Here's what they had to say:
Jean- Michel Saive (Belgium)
"It is not coming like this, it is a learning process from everyday practice...to be a focus on what you do, be concentrating all the times in practice and matches. Then it is easier to control in big events otherwise when the stress is coming, your weakness is stronger."
Brian Afanador (Puerto Rico)
"At big tournaments, I just don't think it is one, just think that is one more tournament and I'm going always to give my best without expecting too much from myself."
Gionis Panagiotis (Greece)
"At this point, I can handle my nerves pretty well due to my vast experience. I just try to stay very focused and think positive. Before I start the game I take a few deep breaths which help me relax."
Aruna Quadri (Nigeria)
"I think it's always difficult in every tournament to control one's nerve before a match but I always get my nerves controlled after some points have been played. Finally, I do control my nerves by thinking that giving 100% best is the best in any match and winning will come if God wants."
Thomas Keinath (Germany)
"This is the most difficult question for me. I have really a big problem with my nerves. I am always very nervous in the match so I try to move and move. So I can change the way I feel."
Jimmy Butler (USA)
"I try and clear my mind, not thinking about it much other than game planning a strategy in my head versus my opponent."
Emil Santos (Dominican Republic)
"Usually to control my nerves at big tournaments I listen to music before my matches, this keeps me relax."