Stress Management in Sports
San Diego Christian College
November 19, 2012
Being able to cope with stress and anxiety are vital to an athlete who has to perform in high pressure situations. Having the ability to control these feelings of nervousness and apprehension are vital for peak performance. Sport performers must be able to manage stress in a wide range of environmental demands and psychological responses throughout the course of experience in their sport of desire and their performance.
Some performers are able to manage the variety of causes and consequences of stress but others struggle with this issue, resulting in severe impairment to their performance and health. Stress is associated with external and internal stressors along with 3 stress response domains (autonomic, somatic, and cognitive). Stress can be managed though physical relaxation, imagery, and goal setting.
These specific types of stress management approaches are applied for athletes to help cope and handle anxiety when preforming at a high level of their desired sport.
External stress comes in multiple forms, management of those stressors comes from removing the external cues, cope with those external cues, or develop new responses for stress cues. Putting too much attention and focus into a stress cue can cause it to linger but removal of the external cues will help reduce stress. Some athletes develop tension and anxiety by seeing their competitor performance. By not allowing observation of the opponent to occur, it is one way to delay the onset of anxiety to set (Suinn, p.347).
An athlete response to injury and rehabilitation can be a major external stressor, depending on the performer. The psychological and physical outcomes are determined by the environment, coping resources, and intervention. Teammates, coaches, and family...