Do strict sports rules generate stress? Even though Love’s experience was severe, stress is an unavoidable aspect of sports at the highest level, and it may be a double-edged sword for those who participate.
It can help you perform at your best when the stakes are highest and allow you to thrive in the high-pressure environment of the game day if you know how to use it properly. However, failing to strike a balance between stresses and proper recuperation – or failing to take them into consideration while monitoring load – may result in mental mistakes and physiological difficulties.
According to recent research, higher psychological stresses “slow down the pace of strength recovery following strength training exercises” and “inhibit short-term muscle recovery from resistance exercise” in the body. Meanwhile, if you do not have the necessary resilience to cope with stressors, it can have a negative impact on cognitive functions that are critical to high levels of performance, such as reaction times and decision-making.
How can coaches and athletes detect and respond to these stresses in order to reduce the detrimental effect they might have on their performances?
Competitiveness, organizational effectiveness, and personal effectiveness
It is beneficial to categorize the many forms of psychological stress that athletes experience into three groups. A study conducted in 2000 on the sources of stress experienced by professional Australian footballers discovered that “players identified sources of stress that went beyond the competitive event” and concluded that “the entire sporting experience needs to be taken into consideration when developing stress management strategies.”
These forms of stress were classified by Fletcher et al. in 2006 as competitive, organizational, and personal stress, according to their findings. Understanding this can assist both the coach and the player in developing a comprehensive picture of what is hindering or assisting performance.
1) The Stressors of a Competitive Environment
The term “competitive stressor” refers to stressors that are directly related to the sporting situation in which the athlete finds themselves. Essentially, they are the most visible stressors and are the ones that are most closely associated with what occurs during training or during a game.
The following are examples of common competitive stressors:
After a period of absence due to injury,
Prior to game day, there are a lot of expectations.
Stresses associated with doing well during a major game
The opposing party
Places are in high demand.
Formal and/or technical issues are present.
Consider the following scenario: you’re having a bad day, and thousands of fans tell you that you’re terrible…
The game is extremely stressful when you have to perform at your peak on a consistent basis.” Michail Antonio, a West Ham United footballer, said this.
Each athlete is unique, and as a result, their response to these competitive stressors will be unique as well. Finding the sweet spot where all of these stressors are working together to create an engaged, locked-in mindset can make all the difference when it comes down to it. It is critical to recognize when a competitive stressor is overwhelming an athlete and having a negative impact on their performance in order to take preventative measures to avoid further problems down the road.
Employees Are Stressed Out at Work
When it comes to organizational stressors, they are defined as “an ongoing transaction between an individual and the environmental demands associated primarily and directly with the organization within which the athlete is currently operating”
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The following are examples of common organisational stressors:
Training concerns (such as a change in the set-up or coach, training content, and training practicality) are addressed in this section.
Conflicts between teammates and coaches on a personal level
Organizational support is seen to be lacking.
Problems with transportation and lodging
Organizational pressures may be traced back to, and hence resolved by, the coaching and organizational structure that surrounds a team. When it comes to organizational stressors, things like tight travel schedules and organizational decisions that are out of your control mean that there isn’t always a solution to find. Nonetheless, being aware of which individuals are having difficulty dealing with certain scenarios allows a chance to address this and, hopefully, find a solution that works for them as well as the team in pursuit of a win,
According to a study published in 2018 that looked at the influence of psychosocial stress factors on acute and overuse injury risk in elite female football players, players who reported teammates as a source of stress had “a greater risk of sustaining an acute injury,” while “players citing coaches as a source of stress had a lower risk of sustaining an overuse injury.”