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5 Ways to Handle Pressure As An Athlete

Published on April 01, 2023

Sarah Roberts

“Don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.” (John 14:1)

We are athletes, but we may differ in how we utilize our abilities. Some of us may play on a team while others compete as individuals. We may have different gifts and talents that include size, strength and speed. And although we may not connect within the same sport, there is something that still connects us within the participation of our different sports: The pressure to perform. This pressure doesn’t discriminate based on gender, race or sport. No matter who you are or where you are from, we can all relate to thoughts of anxiousness, feelings of self-doubt and overwhelming fear of failure that are all rooted in our pressure to prove ourselves: To our parents, our coaches, our peers, and yes, maybe even God. 

How can we handle this pressure? How will God respond to ease the struggle?

As we read God’s Word, there are plenty of men and women who understand this pressure and stress, including King Josiah. Josiah was handed the keys to the kingdom of Israel at just 8 years old, and for 31 years, he led God’s people. I can only imagine the pressure of leading an entire nation, yet he did it well. 

As we read in 2 Kings 22, during Josiah’s reign, his priest found God’s Word and read it aloud. As a sign of despair and grieving with the realization they had not been following God, King Josiah tore his clothes. There wasn’t just the pressure of leading God’s people, but now he wanted to do it but to do it God’s way. What was his game plan, and how can we apply King Josiah’s wisdom to our own lives?

Read God’s Word to the People with His People 

“Then the king went to the Lord’s temple with all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, as well as the priests and the prophets—all the people from the youngest to the oldest. He read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant that had been found in the LORD’s temple.” (2 Kings 23:2)

Like every track athlete knows, you can’t run the race if you aren’t at the starting line. Josiah knew the starting line was to gather his people and get into God’s Word. This is our starting line too. We were never created to do life alone but join with the support of other believers and the guidance of God’s Word. If you are feeling overwhelmed, start with gathering your teammates and getting into the Bible.

When we pray for one another and point each other to truths in the Bible, we can’t help but feel pressure release because someone else is helping carry our burdens. 

Read the rest on the FCA Greater website