2 min read

Dealing with competition nerves

Dealing with competition nerves
Photo by Ian Stauffer / Unsplash

Hey friends!

At my most recent Rubik's Cube competition (an event where people solve Rubik's Cubes and have their times officially recorded) I experienced quite a lot of nerves, especially in the second and final rounds. Today I thought I might share with you some strategies I have started using in an attempt to improve my competition nerves.

Why would I get nervous about playing with a plastic toy and why is that a problem?

Fair question... I think the main problem is a lack of opportunity to compete. There aren't many competitions in our state meaning, when I do get to compete, I feel a lot of pressure to perform as I am trying to beat my official results from last time.
When I get nervous in competition, my hands get sweaty and start to shake which, in turn, affects my confidence. As you can imagine, when you are trying to make accurate turns this can cause you to mess up and slow down. That is why nerves can be a problem.

What things can help prevent this?

I have done some research and found multiple things I can do to help manage competition nerves. Here are a few of them;

  • Simulating the competition environment at home as much as possible (with a 'judge', timer and cube cover) - This is so I am used to the setup when I compete officially.
  • Calm breathing (in for 5, out for 5) before my solve - This is for calming my mind, and getting myself into the mindset I need to solve well.
  • Become Colour Neutral (topic of last newsletter) - This will allow me to feel more confident when solving, because I know I am using the best solution I possibly can.
  • Earmuffs - I can use these to block out noise around me, so it is easier to focus.

At my next competition (April 2-3 2022) I am going to try and implement some, if not all, of these strategies in the hope I can improve on my official results!

Thanks for reading!

Some of my favourite things

Learning platforms

In the last couple of weeks I have got back into programming, and the two platforms I have found helpful have been CodeCademy (an online platform for learning programming languages and concepts), and Skillshare (you've probably seen a million ads for this, but it is legitimately good for learning new skills.)


Music from the only video game I play, Genshin Impact.

Quote of the week

"We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee." - Marian Wright Edelman