For decades everyday athletes have enjoyed the thrill of competition, and for many of these sporting enthusiasts, game time provides a sense of excitement, adrenaline and even nerves. In fact, a recent survey by Wrigley's Doublemint gum reveals that preparing for an athletic event, can be more stressful for everyday athletes than a trip to the dentist's office, public speaking and being late to an important meeting.1
According to the survey, 67 percent of everyday athletes who chew gum say they chew to relieve stress for a sporting event and 59 percent of everyday athletes who chew gum admit that they do so when they need to focus on their sporting event.
According to Dr. Patrick Cohn, author of Going Low: How to Break Your Individual Golf Scoring Barrier by Thinking Like a Pro, experiencing stress before a sporting event or competition can affect an athlete's game-time performance, which helps explain why, in the recent survey, 80 percent of everyday athletes admit to looking for new ways to combat stress. Luckily, for these athletes, chewing gum may be a simple tool athletes could use to help reduce game-time stress.
Golf-related stats from the survey include:
• Nearly two-thirds of everyday golfers agree it is challenging to stay focused and concentrate during a sporting event1
• 69 percent of golfers said that chewing gum can help you focus and concentrate while getting ready for a big competition1
• 77 percent of golfers enjoy chewing gum before they compete1
• 68 percent of everyday golfers admit to feeling general nervousness, butterflies in their stomach or an adrenaline rush before a competition1
• 82 percent of college golfers are likely to be stressed leading up to an event1
Dr. Cohn offers the following tips to help athletes relieve pre-game jitters:
• Focus on what's under your control, not what's beyond your control. You control your thoughts and performance, not what others do or say.
• Embrace your pre-game butterflies. Your body is signaling you're ready to compete.
• Get in the zone. Staying focused can offer athletes a performance edge and research shows chewing gum can help reduce stress, improve alertness and relieve anxiety.2,3,4
• Visualize success. Taking two minutes a day to visualize desired performance can help anticipate a game situation and calm nerves.
For more information about the survey and the Benefits of Chewing, visit www.wrigleygumisgood.com.
 Wrigley Athlete Study. StrategyOne. September 2008 - Survey of 1,000 everyday athletes (adults ages 21-34 involved in intramural or amateur sports organizations, non-professional races, tennis or golf.) Statistic based on those who chew gum.
2 Scholey, Andrew. An investigation into the effects of gum chewing on mood and cortisol levels during psychological stress. 10th International Congress of Behavioral Medicine. Tokyo, Japan. August 2008.
3 Sasaki A. "Influence of mastication on the amount of hemoglobin in human brain tissue." Journal of Stomatological Society. 2001; 68(1): 72-81.
4 Yue Z, Huang L, Zhou X. "Regional brain activities during gum chewing." Psychological Science 2006; 29:1153-1156.