The way to beat lockdown blues: What sports activities psychologists advocate for athletes

The way to beat lockdown blues: What sports activities psychologists advocate for athletes

With the Tokyo Olympics barely a couple of months away, this was purported to be their busiest time. They’d already invested a whole bunch of hours in coaching to hone their expertise, work on their weaknesses and strengthen their sport. A few of them had been totally ready, inching in direction of their peak as they’d deliberate, whereas others had been a bit behind, working arduous to catch up.

After which the whole lot went kaput for the athletes.

The Covid-19 outbreak introduced the world to its knees, resulting in sealing of borders, ban on journey, and postponement or cancellation of all main sporting occasions. So, right here they’re now, confined to their houses with the Video games delayed by a 12 months, no competitions, no correct coaching and no signal of sunshine on the finish of the tunnel.

No one is aware of what’s going to occur, when this will probably be over, in what methods the world will change. There’s widespread uncertainty and that’s taking a heavy toll on the athletes.

Sports activities psychologist Divya Jain, who’s guiding athletes related to GoSports Basis and lately performed a webinar on psychological well being for Boxing Federation of India, says the most important query that the athletes are searching for a solution for is take care of this uncertainty.

“I think just dealing with the uncertainty is the biggest question. How to train when there’s no competition ahead? What to look forward to? How to manage the time at hand? How to keep yourself motivated? How to adjust with different distractions around? How to stay focused? These are some of the biggest concerns,” Dr Divya, head of psychological providers at Fortis Healthcare, advised ET Sport.

Sports activities psychologist Karanbir Singh, who works with a prestigious high-performance centre, concurs, “Uncertainty is the reason they (athletes) are having some irrelevant thoughts about the future and it is leading to a psychological turmoil. This air of uncertainty is taking over everything and is the main reason for their anxiety.”

Opposite to the notion that the lengthy lay-off may have a debilitating impression on the health and expertise of the athletes, it’s the psychological aspect that will endure probably the most harm, say specialists.

Sports activities scientist and physiotherapist Nikhil Latey, the go-to particular person for a few of India’s prime athletes in terms of restoration, says he’s not a lot frightened in regards to the bodily impression of the continuing lockdown on the gamers.

“We know that physically their capacity will come down, but at the same time we also know that once they get back into training, in two months, they’ll return to full fitness,” Dr Latey stated.

“So, the important thing problem goes to be psychological.

“Due to the shortage of competitions and correct coaching, two issues occur. One, it is extraordinarily arduous to maintain your self motivated. I imply, why are you coaching? That is the query you’ll ask your self. There’s nothing on the horizon, nothing for the subsequent six months.

“The second challenge is annoyance. Because you are stuck indoors and athletes are used to pushing themselves hard in training, it is very likely that a little bit of annoyance, a little bit of frustration, sets in.”

Younger at increased threat

The impression is more likely to be extra on the youthful athletes as it is a new expertise for them.

“Experienced athletes have already been through similar phases where because of an injury or some other issue, they have had to be laid off for a few months. So, these athletes, especially those with a history of coming back from major injuries, are emotionally and mentally more prepared,” Dr Latey stated.

“Younger athletes are emotionally more vulnerable,” Dr Karanbir stated.

“They are more prone to make mistakes or pick up some bad habits when they don’t have someone to guide them.”

Keep away from Negativity

In these instances when the motivation stage is at its lowest, sports activities psychologists advocate that athletes ought to keep away from issues that might push them in direction of negativity.

“Staying clear of negative news is important. Going on social media and tracking every single news should be avoided,” Dr Karanbir stated.

“I understand it’s not easy but they should try to minimise their social media exposure. Instead of consuming it, they should use its power to spread a positive message for other athletes and the society in general.”

Dr Divya stresses that the athletes ought to “maintain a routine” to maintain themselves busy and optimistic.

“We also recommend following the same routine that they used to (before the lockdown), like waking up and sleeping at the same time, training at the same time, training in a proper environment with the proper training clothes rather than in casual wear to just create an environment of more seriousness.”

Settle for it

Dr Latey believes that acceptance is the important thing to preventing this psychological battle. “…ultimately it comes down to acceptance. Once you accept that this is what it is, then you can divert your attention and energies towards limiting the amount of deconditioning that happens so that you can get back faster,” he stated.

“It’s about accepting that what’s happening with you is also happening with all your competitors in your own state, in your own country, as well as all the international athletes. So, it’s not like what’s happening to you is an isolated incident and that you are going to fall behind the rest of the world. The entire world is with you. That’s what you need to keep in mind.”

“So, once you accept it, you can free up your mind space to work on the problem rather than get frustrated over not finding a solution.”

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