RE: Dealing with the stress!!!
This is an excellent topic and I'll write some more on it at a later date.
But til then, watch Chip Hyde during his interview with Propwash Video. His statement about how it feels is very enlightening and captures what most pilots feel during a competition.
Stress used to cause my contest flights to be the worst I flew. Until I learned something at the 2000 NATS. I converted the nervous butterflys into a very strong sense of confidence.
See, you have to ask yourself, what are you attempting to do? And why are you doing it? Once you answer these questions (provided the answers are the right ones) everthing falls into place.
Life's perspective. For me, it was simple. Be bold for the Lord.