Stress can have a short-term or long-term effect on your team or the individual. You can be depressed, have issues with weight, eating habits, mood swings, etc, all which can impact your performance as an athlete. An athlete that is stressed may seem restless and without a competitive edge. They may have trouble eating, sleeping, and focusing on normal tasks. Please understand that stress is normal and typical for anyone especially an athlete, and stress can allow a person to play and perform with a little burst of energy.
The human body cannot differentiate between performance stress and lifestyle stress. Too much stress can affect hormonal balance, metabolism, and immune system. Therefore, an athlete must maintain a good balance by maintaining a high level of training without going over the mental and physical limits.
Factors which can increase stress and anxiety athletes are:
●physical demands ●psychological demand ● expectations ●pressure to perform to a high standard ●life direction concerns.
Some healthy ways for athletes to deal with stress are:
● to engage in pleasurable activities ● get efficient rest ● maintain a positive perspective ● laugh ● strengthen your social relationships.
Managing Training Stress
●A big mistake that athletes make is training too hard too fast. Instead, training should be gradually progressive. Make sure the body can handle its current load before you increase the load, and always give your body adequate rest between sessions.
●A great stress reliever is yoga. You should incorporate yoga classes, at least once a week. Often overlooked, practicing yoga can provide countless mental and physical benefits. Yoga increases core strength, flexibility, and concentration. Some other little-known benefits of regular yoga practice include lower blood pressure, better lung function, and improved posture. All which are important for athletes.
●Also, learn to use humor. Have fun, enjoy life and your time as an individual. Learn to relax and place your sport in a reasonable and positive perspective.
Manage Competition Stress
●If you find competition stressful, you should not avoid it, you should select it more carefully. You’ll have more success if you plan your competitions so that the challenge increases each time out. Your athlete’s confidence and self-esteem will grow every time they are successful. There will be times your basketball team will be unsuccessful as well, and these should be recognized as great learning experiences. I always want you to remember, “Every athlete that has lost, has won. There is no such thing as loses. You either win or you learn.”
●Determine your sources of bad stress. Distress can cause poor performance. Some people do not do well when they are stressed about a test. Other sources of stress could be family, work, or a big game. These sources of stress then lead to different ways we respond to stress.
●Realize how you respond to stress. People express stress physiologically, behaviorally, and cognitively. For instance, before a job interview your heart may be racing (physiological), you may pace back and forth (behavioral), or you may say negative statements to yourself such as “I really suck and cannot do this!” (cognitive). Once you know how you respond to stress, you can choose the best ways to cope with stress.
It’s important to understand what may be leading to stress and the symptoms of stress. Anyone can be stressed at any point of their lives. Adults use to say, “Your too young to be stressed.” But we all know this statement is incorrect.