The intense training that an athlete undergoes to excel at a sport has many effects on the body. There comes a time when the athlete breaks down under immense pressure. This breakdown may exhibit itself in the form of sleep disorders, loss of appetite etc.
The athlete doesn’t only have to be fit physically to perform well, but mentally too. This is where stress management comes into play. Stress management is very necessary for an athlete to perform with full potential.
The Total Stress Load that any athlete is under comprises of:
- Emotional stress
- Lifestyle stress
- Training stress
- Competition stress
- Everyday stress
Here are 6 techniques of stress management that can help an athlete:
Confidence is very important to not only win but also to prepare to win. To boost self-confidence, it is important that an athlete is kind to himself. The negative thinking has to be stopped and replaced with positive self-talk for stress management.
Conquering one’s own mind to omit negative talk requires practice and takes time. One thing that can help initiate the process is starting the day by saying things like, “it’s going to be a good day” and “I am doing the best I can” while looking at the mirror.
2. Importance of Now
“Stress is caused by being here but wanting to be there.”
― Eckhart Tolle
Carrying the weight of guilt of the past or anxiety for the future can only deteriorate the performance. Hence, it is very important to live in the present and focus only on the on-going thing.
For example, if one is in training, the only thing one should be thinking about is the training and not the result. It helps to avoid unnecessary tension and in stress management.
3. Recall the Best
Living in the past should be avoided. But, when life puts you down, it can help to look back and recall all the achievements and the odds you conquered for them. It can help boost self-confidence and in stress management.
It can help in improving current performance. But, dwelling only on those victories can deteriorate performance. There’s a fine line between dwelling and recalling which should be taken care of.
4. Keep Learning
Be open to changes and learning, whatever be the source. You may learn things even from a kid. But, learning is learning.
When you keep absorbing all the things around you in a positive manner, it diversifies your knowledge. This knowledge can help build confidence and hence, give positive energy which can help in stress management.
5. Take Breaks from Training
It’s important to take breaks from training and find some time for yourself. It helps the mind to unwind and process all the information and experiences it already has.
The mind puts everything in its respective place and organizes itself. This helps a lot in releasing stress.
When the athlete finally comes back to training, he comes with a fresh mind and is ready to give it all without anything holding him back.
6. Talk it Out
When the training process becomes overwhelming, one should talk it out with his team members, fellow athletes, coaches, friends or parents.
The power of a conversation can’t be and shouldn’t be underestimated. It helps to vent out your feelings to someone. It helps in processing your own thought process and hence, in stress management.
“The greatest weapon against stress is the ability to choose one thought over another.”
― William James
There is way too much pressure on an athlete during both-training and final game-than any normal person. It is important for any athlete to not only prepare himself physically, but also mentally.
He should focus on stress management to not let his mind limit his performance. It helps him in performing to his full potential so that the results comply with his preparations.
Do you know any more stress management techniques for athletes undergoing intense sports training? Share in the comment section below.