top of page

Strategies for Developing a Winners Mindset


I have been talking a lot recently about warming up the body and muscles before a competition, but to be fully prepared for a competition you also need to warm up your mind.

Having the right mindset can prepare you for anything, like eating fire or breaking boards.

Professional athletes, including dancers, will work on their mindset as well as their techniques and routines.

Enhancing your performance and giving yourself the best chance of reaching a final or even achieving a first-place position, is a direct result of having a multi-faceted preparation structure.

You should now have a very good idea of how to do a physical warmup before a competition so this month I’d like to share with you some tips on creating a winning mindset and overcoming competition nerves.

A quick word on fear!!

Fear and excitement create the same physical symptoms in the body. The only difference is your perception of it.

Fear :-

  • Increased Heart Rate

  • Rapid Beathing

  • Muscle Tension

  • Sweating

  • Dilated Pupils

  • Butterflies in the Stomach or Nausea

  • Dry Mouth

  • Trembling or Shaking

Excitement :-

  • Increased Heart Rate

  • Rapid Breathing

  • Muscle Tension

  • Sweating

  • Dilated pupils

  • Fluttering in the Stomach

  • Increased Energy

  • Heightened Sensory Perception



Top Tips

1 - Box breathing                                           


Mastering the art of box breathing can have an instant calming effect on the body and nerves but it needs some practise.


  • Start by taking a slow deep breath in for a count of 3.

  • Hold the breath for a count of 3.

  • Breath out for a count of 3.

  • Pause for a count of 3 before breathing in again.

  • Continue to breath in this way for 12 minutes.


2 - Breathwork – an alternative breathwork method

  • Breath in slowly through the nose for a count of 4,

  • Fill up your chest and abdomen. Really feel this area of the body expanding.

  • Breath out slowly for a count of 6 emptying out the lungs fully.

  • Continue for up to 10 minutes.


3 - Power Move – nerves are a fight or flight response that causes a rush of adrenaline in the body and creating an increase in energy. The excess adrenaline can cause us to


  •  Forget our routine as soon as we go out on to the floor.

  • Make us tense up the body, lifting the shoulders and destroying our perfect postures.

  • We also forget to smile and look like we are enjoying our dancing. Remember – a smiley face equals a higher place.


What successful people do is burn off the adrenaline beforehand using a power move or activity.

The iconic coach Tony Robbins bounces on a trampette just before going onstage to burn off the nerves. My coach and mentor Jim Frances punches the air shouting BOOM before delivering a speech.


What can your Power Move be??


4 - Visualisation – this can be a very powerful strategy to use before any competition.


  • Find a place where you are not likely to be disturbed or distracted for a few minutes.

  • Calm your breathing using one of the above methods.

  • Close your eyes and in your mind see yourself completing a fabulous routine perfectly.

  • Now see the awards presentation. The numbers are being called. As you wait patiently, they are calling 3rd place- it isn’t you. They call 2nd place- it isn’t you. Then 1st place- your number is called; everyone is cheering and clapping. You have a smile on your face that goes from ear to ear. How does that feel. Really, really feel this as though it has already happened.

  • Take a deep slow breath in and out, then slowly open your eyes, keeping that feeling in you as you step on to the floor.

bottom of page