As a professional athlete one tend to go through so much, it can be a roller coaster of emotions because on one day the results may be great but the next day, the results may not be so good. Most fans do not really know what an athlete has to go through in order to give their best out there. The fan base only accepts perfection and days when you are not so perfect you will get all the hate propagated towards you on how you are useless and not so good. As human’s awful words tend to get to us no matter how strong we are. At times we are told to ignore the hate but it is often not as easy to ignore as it may seem. There are various athletes that have had to shed tears because of the hate thrown towards them. In order to succeed in sports, mental health is quite of great importance and that is why there are mental health coach who exist to help you cope with this.
Athletes are prone to many things that may be detrimental to their mental health state these include: pursuit as well as the price of success, the sporting lifestyle considering how athletes leave quite flashy lifestyle, abuse on pitch and changing room and finally injuries that may be so severe affecting one’s comeback (Samuel Lovett). Many people will think that an athlete only needs to be physically fit and this is probably why most athletes are often subjected to medical examination just to ensure they are fit. Am not disputing that physical fitness is not important but rather all am saying is an athlete will not give his best if up there he is not completely okay. A mental health coach is there to train the mind to be healthy thus optimizing the athlete’s performance.
Performance of an athlete is not likely to remain constant and may vary from day to day. No single athlete will tell you they have never had low moments in their careers. A mental coach acts as a motivator trying to help find the triggers that may affect the athlete and then strengthening the will. A mental coach will be important in also helping out in both the pre and post-game pressures help stimulate one’s concentration thus ensuring they are completely ready for the game and also creating a winning mentality. According to psychologist when one has positive thoughts i.e. they are going to win a match or a game then they are highly likely to win the game. As an athlete optimism is of great importance even when some games really seem to be hard or challenging, an optimist mind is likely to overcome all obstacles.
A mental health coach does not have tricks to use in order to help their client win but rather they have a plan on the real needs of their clients and actual measures to take. For example, someone who has suffered trauma such as injury in the field, they need help in recovering from the trauma and training the mind that they can come through of anything and still be great. They need constant reassurance to be optimistic that after coming out of their injury they can still be good at what they used to do. Stress plays quite an important role in ensuring one succeed. There are two types of stress that exists. The first is called eustress which is a positive kind of stress while the second is distress which has negative impacts. Eustress is an important kind of stress to athletes as it gives them pressure in trying to ensure they end the match while being the best. A mental health coach will try ensure that an athlete is able to handle both kinds of stress accordingly.
There are several pro-athletes that have accredited their success to using mental health coaches. They include Russell Wilson who suffered a devastating loss in the Super Bowl History that greatly affected his mind. Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan are also basketball players who have relied on the help of mental health in order to be successful in their careers. Others include Tom Brady, Aaron Judge, Nick Faldo, Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony. This shows that over the years many professional athletes have come to the realization of importance of mental health coaching. In getting the right mental coach it is important to do your research well. As an athlete, one may need to talk to other athletes as well as coaches. Sports psychologist who also act as mental health coaches are also certified by the Association for Applied Sports psychology.
Generally, sports can be said to be a game that exhibits who has the best physical health, however, mental health is a defining factor that separates athletes that are good from those that are great. Many people in the sports industry have embraced the fact that sport is no longer a game of being physically superior but also who can be able to dominate all the opponents mentally. All sports need to now ensure that their players have the best mental health coaching in order to ensure maximum performance, players can deal with stress while on and off the pitch, players can handle hate and discrimination while in the field and above all the players can be able to enjoy sports.
Lovett, Samuel. “The Sporting Mind: Introducing Our Series on Mental Health in Sport.” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 29 July 2019, www.independent.co.uk/sport/the-sporting-mind-series-mental-health-sport-latest-a8941816.html.