The ability to down-regulate (relax) your nervous system is just as important as being able to ramp it up.
Many athletes (and people in general) have no problem ramping up and getting into a fired up/fight or flight state in preparation for competition or training. They prepare their nervous system physically and mentally. While this is important for the results of your competition or training, what is often lacking is the ability to both control this state and down-regulate after being in this state.
Being too ramped up does not allow for optimal performance. Being in a state of fight or flight will hinder performance when you aren’t able to control it. Being able to perform under pressure means being able to get your body and mind under control and not let the emotions take over. Breathing techniques and visualization are some examples of ways to deal with this.
Ramping back down after competition and training is also a skill. Many athletes need to be better at this and train their ability to relax the nervous system. The body can’t always be revved up, and will not be able to recover if it isn’t efficient at relaxing. Rest/recovery is where the true training gains are made! Incorporating a daily breathing practice into the routine is a great way to improve this.
A crocodile in the wild is a prime example of this. They often go from rest/sleep mode to all-out attack mode and back to rest/sleep mode in no time at all, and naturally, have the ability to do so. Humans often get overly stimulated (constant doses of caffeine and pre-workout being contributing factors) and lose the ability to efficiently relax.