Do sports and stress have a relationship? In fact they do, but it can be positive or negative, depending on your attitude and your self-discipline…
How does stress affect sports? Successful athletes use the pressure of performance to bring themselves into the zone and a state of peak performance.
When an athlete does this, he is using the good kind of stress – Eustress – to get himself pumped up and to provide that rush of adrenalin. This provides the athlete with the extra drive and power needed to go for the win!
Sports and Stress Peak Performance
When you have a good attitude, mental toughness, and you approach sports positively, your stress level can put you into the Zone, the place where absolutely nothing can go wrong!
Athletes, including Olympic athletes, aim to be in the Zone . This is where you achieve peak performance sports, and you do your very best at absolutely anything!
When you are using stress positively and are in the Zone:
- No fear of failure
- Not worrying about performance
- Not forcing performance
- Complete concentration
- Total immersion in the sport
- Feeling of being in complete control
- Feelings that time and space have slowed down
- Playing with intensity
- Feeling extreme enthusiasm
Top athletes like Tiger Woods, Ken Norton and Nolan Ryan have used hypnosis to improve their focus, their skills and to get into the Zone when competing.
Sports psychologists now work with sports professionals and college athletes to teach them how to get into the Zone and compete at the top.
Sports and Negative Stress
Do you know an athlete who is a “hot dog” or a “hot head”? Chances are that this person can ruin the game for others. He may even suffer from a health condition, caused by his own stress.
An athlete is responsible for his own behavior during a game. And that behavior determines whether an athlete will feel relaxed and relieved of stress after the game. Or angry, upset and stressed, after the game!
Not only does an athlete who exhibits anger, hostility or anxiety during a game, feel upset, he also is compromising his ability to perform.
Sports psychologists actually measure athletes’ mood states (reaction to situations) to determine how well an athlete will do during competition.
They can also tell when an athlete has over-trained and is on overload!
Stress and Sports
So, the effects of sports and stress on an individual–depend entirely on that individual.
In effect, you can decide to have a positive attitude and decrease stress levels by playing sports, or you can use anger, intimidation and anxiety to your disadvantage.
Using negative emotions will just turn positive stress or eustress, into harmful stress or distress–which will affect your health, your relationships and your emotions.
The choice is yours.
Learn how to get into the Zone, whether you play a sport or compete at chess or at work.