Emotional Stress in Sports
minute.coach for Parents
At minute.coach we believe that success is a combination of player, parent and coach working together as a team and therefore one of our goals is to educate not only the players but also the parents as well.
By providing information and tips on how to deal with various aspects of being a parent of a young athlete, we aim to give you the tools to ensure you have everything you need to succeed in helping your kid become a better athlete one minute at at time.
In the near future, we will be launching an extension of minute.coach intended purely for the parent with unique and relevant content adjusted to the modern moms and dads of young athletes.
What is emotional stress?
When it comes to sport, the desire and excitement to win can sometimes blind us from seeing and doing what is the best for our youngster which leads to unnecessary emotional stress that can affect his or her ability to perform.
In short, emotional stress is a feeling of emotional tension and it is produced when someone feels that their psychological well-being is threatened. This can be experience in school, at home, with friends or by participating in sports.
What causes emotional stress in sports?
Wrongly many parents and coaches consider winning the most important aspect in youth athlete life. The pressure to win can cause significant emotional stress for a child leading to a decrease in performance, enjoyment and involvement in football.
By adding additional stress to their lives we ignorantly increase the chances of them making rush decisions and getting injured thus turning our well-thought intentions into counter-productive results which negatively affect the young athlete.
The main goal should be daily improvement of their skills and focus on long term learning and development as well as enjoying the process.
How can you tell if your youth athlete is stressed?
There are few potential warning signs:
- Loss of appetite
- Poor sleep and loss of energy
- Regular headaches, upset stomach
- Consistent inability to perform at his or her best level
- Willingness to miss training sessions or quit sport
How to deal with and prevent emotional stress in youth athlete?
The most obvious and at the same time most practical solution is to talk and establish an environment for an open conversation with the child to ensure he or she feels safe to share the thoughts and feelings without being judged. Some other ways to deal with emotional stress:
- Ensure the athletes diet is balanced and healthy
- Pay more attention to sleeping conditions and quality of sleep
- Remember to have fun and take a break from training and competing
- Share your own experiences of dealing with anxiety and stress to acknowledge that it is normal to experience such emotions
- Keep the spirits up by remaining positive and leading by example
Just like with majority of things in life, there is not a one quick-fix solution that works and applies to the emotional stress. It takes a continuous effort and team work to limit the possibility of it occurring. The fact that you are reading and learning more about it, is a good sign that you are already on your way to provide your young athlete with the support that he or she needs and deserves!