How Professional Sports Players Handle And Cope With Stress


Sports players are constantly placed under enormous pressure to perform at their best all the time. This kind of scrutiny and pressure results in stress, but depending on how you handle and cope with it, it will yield either positive or negative results. Like gambling at an online casino real money platform, there’s always more than enough room for success, yet failure is hardly acceptable. 

This article will look at how sports players can use stress to their advantage so it can yield positive results. If you happen to be an aspiring sports player who’s seeking guidance on how to handle this kind of pressure, then you can keep reading for more. 

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Stress And Performance

Stress can be very detrimental to any player’s performance without proper coping mechanisms to deal with pressure and expectations. This is because stress is known to impair cognitive functions like decision-making, attention, and memory. When this happens, sports players can make all sorts of errors during games that could result in something as serious as a penalty. 

Naturally, human beings are designed to develop stress during competitions and assessments. This is whether the challenge is mental, psychological, emotional, or physical. It’s all part of our survival instinct, and to address it correctly, you need to understand the three different types of stress that affect professional sports players. These include:

  • Competitive stress that’s related directly to the sport through issues like expectations coming up for a big performance, injury, or game-day pressures. 
  • Organizational stress that’s linked to ongoing exchanges between individuals and the environmental demands that the sports players are performing in, like changes, training issues, perceived lack of support, and interpersonal conflict. 
  • Personal stress relates to individual demands on the sports player, like financial issues, lifestyle changes, and external commitments. 

Stress isn’t only related to the outcome of events and various performance factors. With different stress factors all working to impair the player’s cognitive functions, ultimately, players can tap into more severe conditions if the energy isn’t controlled and harnessed correctly. Therefore, players must develop effective techniques to help them clear their minds to use stress as a positive energy source. 

How Sports Players Handle Stress

For players to deal with stress effectively, they need to have some confidence in their abilities. A sports player who continues to achieve greatness does so by taking stress sensations that every other player experiences and converting them into a state of feeling elevated and heightened so they have improved levels of energy, increased confidence, and better concentration. 

To get the body to this level of effective performance, the sports player is undergoing a challenging state where positive thoughts and emotions can enhance their performance levels across various activities. From a physical perspective, the body will react efficiently, where blood vessels will dilate, and the heart will shunt more blood to the body’s muscles and brain so the player can think and perform in the desired way. 

Suppose players can face pressure with perceived control, self-confidence, and focus. In that case, their bodies will rapidly assess the demands of any given situation, which will help the body react accordingly. However, if the players lack self-confidence, focus, and control, their bodies will begin to respond in a manner of distress that will result in unhelpful and negative responses. This is known as a threat state.

Apart from assessing the challenged state, there are several ways sports players can handle stress, such as:

  • Changing their perspective on what pressure means to generate positive and meaningful emotions from it
  • Reducing internal and external sources of pressure
  • Using pressure during training 

In Conclusion

Some sports players enjoy relaxing methods like deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation to calm the body. In contrast, other players enjoy using imagery to place themselves in various game situations to build confidence and reduce anxiety. Either way, it’s important to find techniques that will work best for you, as the aim is to reframe how you perceive pressure and stress so you can use them to your advantage.

Carol P. Middleton
Student. Alcohol ninja. Entrepreneur. Professional travel enthusiast. Zombie fan. Practiced in the art of donating rocking horses for the underprivileged. Crossed the country researching hula hoops in Deltona, FL. Won several awards for supervising the production of etch-a-sketches in Nigeria. Uniquely-equipped for investing in bathtub gin in the financial sector. Spent a year building g.i. joes worldwide. Earned praise for deploying childrens books in Africa.