The healthiest of us wake up and visualize the day’s events. We remind ourselves to be on time for that important meeting or that we need to get to the flower shop to pick up roses for our loved one, as it’s our anniversary.
This is a skill called anticipation.
Folks tend to get in trouble when they struggle to overcome the anxiety of the impending event and this anxiety impacts the smaller steps necessary to get to the business meeting or the flower shop. They miss the small steps so much so that they did not look into their train schedule and missed that there was a planned train delay and end up missing the meeting; or on the way to the flower shop, the crack in the sidewalk is missed and their skull takes a smack on the pavement.
This Friday, Amir Khan will be facing Chris Algieri with what seems to be an extremely important fight for him. Amir has spent the better half of the last two years hoping to sign a major fight with the likes of Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao. He has been hoping to get invited to the important business meeting, you could say…
I am very curious… will Amir miss the crack on the pavement, and take a literally crack to his skull from the fists of Chris Algieri?
Anxiety to athletes can impact their ability to live in the moment. They lose their flow. They are too “in their head” and that impacts their body’s ability to express their craft at the level of expertise expected.
I admire Khan’s external appearance of patience to wait for the big fight but I cannot help but wonder to what degree that as he waits, there sets in an internal sense of impatience that is causing a level of frustration.
As we saw with Manny Pacquiao’s fourth fight with Juan Manual Marquez, I found Pacquiao’s frustration of not getting the Mayweather fight led to his trying to rush the fight, hoping to knock out his long time rival and force Mayweather to fight him. We all saw how that ended up.
Khan must walk into the ring Friday night acknowledging and accepting the frustration he has experienced over the past two years.
Maintaining a healthy anticipation will assist his composure, allow him to maintain his flow, minimize anxiety, maintain his patience, and utilize his talents to overcome Algieri. The big meeting will eventually come. Algieri hopes Khan misses the crack on the pavement.
Here’s to a good fight on Friday.
Dr. Johnny Lops is a psychiatrist who practices in Brooklyn. He sees children and adults and is the proud author of a new book, which you can find here.