Are you watching the World Cup? Do you imagine yourself on the pitch, gracefully maneuvering the ball through the confused defense until you find the defending goal and unleash a powerful, twisting shot that just clears the goalie's outreached hand to reach the top corner of the net? Me, too.

It is a dream for many of us, as is hitting a walk-off, game-winning home run in baseball's World Series or tossing a last-second, buzzer-beating shot to win the NBA basketball championship. Most of us lack the raw physical prowess to compete on this level, so we instead choose to pursue and excel at other professions and interests. Interestingly, successful business managers are not that much different from world-class athletes (physical prowess aside). They share one characteristic that separates them from others in their field: managing pressure.

For this reason, we can learn a great deal from our World Cup and other sports heroes and how they deal with pressure. Here are five tips for maintaining your athletic mojo when faced with high-pressure situations.

1. Think happy thoughts.

Exceptional managers know how to control and mitigate doubt and worry, typically through absorbing pressure and turning it into positive energy. Some do it through humor; others do it through intense concentration. A good example is when a baseball pitcher is on the verge of a no-hitter, teammates know not to talk to the pitcher during the game or otherwise jinx the performance. Some pitchers like to sit alone at the end of the dugout, while others will joke with their teammates to defuse the stress. You don't need to strive for perfection but instead find the technique that best helps you mitigate worry and stick with it.

2. Focus on the here and now.

Exceptional managers are visionaries who have the ability to see their business and industry from a big-picture perspective. When the pressure is on, however, they also know how to focus on the immediate challenge at hand. Golfers are a great example. Great golfers focus on themselves and the hole they are playing, not on the tournament and other players. Being able to divorce themselves from the pressure of the match allows them to stay laser focused on every shot. You should be prepared to set long-term goals aside to focus on the immediate challenge at hand.

3. Know what energy level works best for you.

Whether extroverted or introverted, every great manager has a peak performance mode. Some managers thrive on minimal sleep and in high-pressure situations, while others prefer to diligently manage the pressure and create a calmer environment in which to work. Futbol players are great examples. Many are quiet and reserved off the field, but when the game clock starts, they find the intensity needed to slug through a long, incredibly physical game. Whether you perform better under quiet concentration or wildly amped on a pot of coffee, do what you need to do get into your performance mode when the pressure is on.

4. Take deep breaths.

Breathing deeply from your diaphragm relaxes your nerves and can slow your heart rate, which in turn will help you stay calm, clear your mind, and make good decisions. During basketball games, you will often see players pause and take a deep breath before shooting a free throw. Just the simple gesture will help clear their mind and help them focus. Next time you face a stressful situation, take a few minutes to close your eyes, clear your mind, and focus on your breathing.

5. Develop a physical routine.

Routines are incredibly useful when it comes to forming good habits. Handling stress is no exception. Identify the things that make you calm and integrate them into your routine for handling stress. Routines are ingrained in sports. Athletes will follow the same warm-up routine before a game, eat the same meals, or adjust their uniform before every play. Some call it superstition, but the reality is that it is a routine meant to keep them in a comfort zone. Whether you read emails in the morning, eat a mid-morning snack, or adjust your tie before a presentation, do not break your routine when the pressure starts.

Just because you have to miss out on participating in the World Cup this year does not mean that you can't act like a world-class futbol player. Visualize yourself in your workplace as you would on the pitch, use these tips to prepare yourself for the pressures as athletes do, and you will find the same world-class success in the office as you would on the field.