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7.3.3. Stress management.

How do you manage stress?  Mark the activity you think may reduce your stress level.  Compare your list with your group members.

□   Eating sweets

□   Going for a walk

□   Listening to music

□   Doing exercises

□   Walking the dog

□   Going shopping

□   Other   ______________


Coping with stress in sports

Not all stress is bad for your performance. Stress can affect your performance in two different ways. Stress can help you when it makes you more alert, more motivated to practice, and gain a competitive edge. In the right amount, stress helps you prepare, focus, and perform at your optimal level. Conversely, too much stress, or bad stress, can cause performance anxiety, which hurts your health and does not allow you to play relaxed, confident, and focused in competition.

Sports psychologists may offer sportspeople some stress management techniques.  Examples are as follows: write down the situation and identify the deep feelings you experienced. Identify the thoughts that went through your head and mark the ones that were most stressful. Look at both sides of the situation and create a balanced answer, such as "I performed well, but in the future I would like to improve in this area." Now come up with a game plan. Think through how you’ll respond the next time and create positive affirmations. A 1988 study on Canadian Olympians found, those, who planned ahead for their competition and found out  how to evaluate their performance and how to deal with any disruptions, were significantly more successful than athletes who had not planned ahead.

1. Stress can affect sports performance in

2. Good stress helps

3. Bad stress can cause

4. Sports psychologists may offer

5. The findings of a 1988 study were

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