Counseling for athletes

Working with a counselor is one of the profound ways to improve your performance and overall well-being.

Counseling for athletes is targeted at developing psychology strategies that help to improve mental toughness, mental roadblocks and the likes.

Here are some reasons why athletes need counseling

Mental Toughness

Athletes at different points will struggle and they will be advised to cope. Usually, athletes do not like asking for help when they experience this so that they won’t be perceived as weak.

However, athletes need to know that experiencing that mental struggle is one of the ingredients to growth and development.

With a sports counselor, their performance in life and sports would be to persevere, be more resilient and thrive. Mental toughness is not only for sports but for life happenings.

Improve in performance

If you want to get better in sports, you have to work with a counselor. The first thing the counselor does is to develop you mentally in a bid to help you perform better in sports and other aspects of life.

Dealing with pre-game anxieties

No matter how prepared you are before a game, there is a chance for you to be anxious before the big game. The counselor is aware of this and they help you surmount this challenge. When you are light-headed and you find it challenging to breathe, it would be difficult to think straight and perform well.

With counseling, you are taught how to undergo a personal mental workout and routine that you can practice before the real games.

Stress reliever and proper self-care

Athletes have other aspects of their life to deal with asides sports. Hence, if their performance doesn’t go well as planned during a particular game, it affects other areas of their life.

With counseling, you are equipped to see other aspects of your life in a good perspective even if you had a bad outing sports day.

Injury and your identity

Many people think athletes injuries should be cared for by doctors/physicians. However, counselors have a pivotal role to play. Having injuries and being unable to play can be frustrating. The counselor helps improve your mental game that takes away the frustration.

Healthy tips for an athlete

Being an athlete is not an easy day’s job and it comes with a number of benefits. However, a number of athletes lack the knowledge to take care of themselves because of the slight risk involved in sports. There are some athletes who get injured and never get to participate in sports anymore.  

Below are some healthy tips that every athlete needs:

Develop core strength, stability and flexibility exercises

When you are training, irrespective of your sport, it is important to develop core strength and stability. You need to do exercises that impacts your core muscles with strength.

Usually, the abductors, adductors, gluteus maximus and a number of other muscles are often overlooked, and you actually need to exercise them.

With a stable and strong core, your chances of getting injured reduces during practice and gameplay. In addition, flexibility is an important physical fitness component. Hence, you need to do exercises that improve your flexibility.

Take lots of water

Before and after games, you have to take lots of water. You should also watch out for heat-induced illness like vomiting, nausea, fainting or confusion, because they happen on days that are humid and hot.

Get lots of rest

Just like everyone, athletes need to take much rest. It is advised that athletes rest adequately during games and practices. Sleeping well helps to properly consolidate our memories and it helps with cell growth and repair.

Ideally, athletes are advised to sleep for seven to nine hours each day.

Eat a nutritious diet

Athletes need to eat a nutritious meal to allow them function optimally. It is advised to eat less junks and eat more healthy meals that would keep you in shape. If you are an athlete, it is advised to check in with your dietician to know the right meals to eat.  

Go on a vacation

You need to have a schedule to yourself when you rest properly. The essence of a vacation is to refresh your body and mind. And it is advised you plan towards this from time to time.


Athletes are individuals who are constantly in the spotlight. They are in the spotlight for either a good or a bad reason. If an athlete is doing well, he or she would constantly be talked about for a long time provided the performance continues well.

However, if the athlete should mess up for any reason, there would be banters from all angles, some of which would get to the athlete.

Some of these athletes have learnt not to take some of these mockeries to heart. Rather, they have decided to use it as a form of motivation for themselves to always perform better.

One thing about fans is, they do not give athletes the chance to refuel themselves. There is always an expectation from their favorite athlete every time, not minding if they are in a good shape or not.

Hence, since athletes want to be in the good books of their fans every time, they always ensure to practice hard, so that they can get better. However, those who do not perform up to expectations usually end up getting addicted.

Addiction is one of the worse things which can happen to an athlete, and those who have been fortunate to break free from it, have been able to lead normal lives, because they have got the best of treatment which has assisted their recovery.

Athletes are individuals who need a mental health counselor by their side every now and then. Athletes are prone to mental health problems, and if they are not well taken off, it could take a great toll on their health.

Athletes need to realize that people can never get satisfied, and they must also realize that, it is impossible to maintain a great record all through their sojourn as an athlete. They need to also bear in mind that there would be downtimes, and they should expect much backlash as possible.

So, they must be prepared for times like that, and they should use that medium as a chance to pull themselves together, and put measures in place to perform better next time.


Participating in sports comes with immense benefits. The body and mind stands to gain lots of things. People who are athletically talented can make use of their physical talent to acquire fame, wealth and the likes.

However, there is always a pressure attached to this, which makes them want to perform better and above their limits.

When you combine this pressure with the responsibilities which comes with everyday life like work, family and the likes, it is clear that athletes are very stressed. Hence, this can make an athlete take the path of addiction and drug use.

The self-esteem and identity of a player is fashioned via sports. When athletics is a powerful influence in the life of a person, they would be willing to risk some long-standing health problems, so that they can gain power, endurance and strength in the short run.

Asides the fact that athletes use drugs to improve their performance, they also use drugs to cope with mental illness.

A good number of times, they receive treatment when they are physically injured, but they do not really receive treatment when it comes to mental health. So, athletes resort to drugs and alcohol for the treatment of their symptoms.

In addition to this, athletes deal with pressure by taking drugs. There is a lot of pressure which they face both on and off the field.

There is the pressure to win, to perform better individually, to recover from an injury amongst others. Hence, for some of them to cope with this pressure, they need to take drugs,

They also use drugs to treat physical injuries. Athletes who suffer from physical injuries make use of drugs like marijuana, opioids and the likes, so that they can handle pain.

Some athletes also take drugs so that they can cope effectively with retirement. For some people, the transition phase from active participation in athletics to retirement is tough, so they need something to deal with this phase.

Athletes who have various addiction problems can seek help from various types of recovery programs such as: Inpatient treatment programs, Outpatient programs, Twelve-step programs and the likes.


There have been lots of cases which involves the addiction of athletes to drugs and alcohol. These substances have been known to end the lives and career of athletes, and it is still happening till today. Athletes who have been lucky to escape addiction, or perhaps break free, have been able to live normal and prosperous lives, because they have received the best form of treatment which aided their recovery.

From time to time, you would find a large number of people gather in stadiums and arenas to catch a glimpse of their favourite athletes. People love them, and the upcoming ones want to be like them, there are also sponsors who want to make them their brand ambassadors. It can be said that there are a lot of benefits on the plates of an athlete.

It is easier for an athlete to get addicted to substances because they are well paid, and they can afford it. These substances are easily accessible and it circulates well within their circle.

There are various reasons why an athlete would become addicted:

  • Performance enhancement: This is one of the major reasons why an athlete would be hooked on either drugs or alcohol. They could be in competitions or contests, where it is required that they give their very best, so that they would come out tops, or their team would prevail. Hence, there is this burden on them, that they need to do well, so that they would not disappoint the numerous fans and the team, who are looking up to them.
  • Injuries: Also, athletes take drugs and alcohol so that the healing of their injury can be hastened. They are high-flying performance, and they would not want to slack at any point, for the fear of losing the love of those who look up to them. With time, it becomes something which they cannot let go off.
  • Depression: This is a mental health disorder which affects athletes. There are times when they fail, and they are mocked by the public. It affects them adversely, and some of them sink into oblivion. Hence, the only way whereby they can come out of this depression, is to take either drugs or alcohol.

Helping Athletes Overcome Addiction

addicted athletesAthletes may sometimes seem to have superhuman abilities, but they are people just like anyone else. And, like anyone else, sometimes they struggle with addiction problems. We tend to think of athletes as the pinnacle of human strength and physical health, not interested in abusing their bodies. But the fact is, athletes can fall under a great deal of stress and expectation, and some of them become experimental in seeking methods of coping. Sadly, this can lead to addictive substances and processes which begin to unravel the athlete’s life.

An athlete’s addiction issues are usually due to stress and pressure, both physical and mental. A professional athlete can become stressed about how taxing their profession is. After all, practices, meetings, trials and competitions can quickly fill up a schedule to the point that there is little to no spare time left in it. The business that athlete’s go about is also very demanding on the athlete’s body and mind, so if they are not able to rest and recuperate, they become dysfunctional. The pressure on an athlete to outperform themselves and their competition can also be very mentally taxing and stressful.

An athlete who is slipping further and further into addiction is in danger; danger of ruining their careers, their relationships, their health, and even in danger of losing their life, in many situations. Particularly when an athlete is addicted to a substance are they in real danger, as many addictive substances in excess can cause organ failure. There is no doubt that athletes who are struggling with addiction need help, and it is very important that they connect with a treatment program that will be successful in helping them to recover. There are inpatient treatment programs that are designed for high profile individuals such as athletes, and even some that specialize in the treatment of addicted athletes. Addiction is a scary thing that no one knows how to face at first, but do not be afraid to reach out for help, for the sake of your loved ones and yourself.

The Psychology of an Athlete

athlete psychologyLong before an athlete picks up a baseball bat, a hockey stick or a pair of running shoes, their brains are already wired for an interest in and a talent for physical feats. They naturally gravitate toward sportsmanship because of how their brains are wired for discipline, competition and energy. Athletes are known for their physical prowess, their agility and their sportsmanship, but the motivation for these physical abilities comes from the way an athlete thinks. Athletes do not receive enough credit for the mental strength they apply to their vocation, but it is just as valid a part of their process as the physical feats they achieve.

A competitive nature is also an essential component to an athlete’s personality and psychology. One cannot be an athlete without a healthy competitive sense. Those lacking it will become overwhelmed by the competitive nature of their peers. This pushes an athlete to reach their full potential by challenging their own limitations. A competitive nature that is unchecked can cause problems, however. When competition turns obsession, athletes make bad choices, such as to sabotage another athlete’s performance or to use performance enhancing drugs.

An athlete is nothing if not eager. They are endowed with incredible energy and exuberance for what they do. An athlete’s level of stamina is considerably higher than most other people’s. This makes them a perfect fit for the heavy physical demands of professional sports. It can be hard for an athlete to turn their energy off in times of quiet or meditation, which can make their inner lives harder to come by. Sometimes athletes have to submit to counseling or self help in order to quiet their energy.

And lastly, an athlete cannot succeed without a strong sense of discipline. This quality is innate in all athletes who excel at their sport. The focus and dedication they put into their training is unrelenting and it shows in their athletic performances. This quality is very respectable, but it can breach on obsession for those athletes who do not learn a balanced lifestyle.

Addiction Treatment for Professional Athletes

pro athlete addiction treatmentAddiction is not uncommon among athletes, but it is consistently detrimental to their lives. Athletes are supposed to be the physical pinnacle of their sport in order to remain desirable as athletes. The most damaging thing that addiction can do to an athlete is affect their health. Substance abuse addictions affect an athlete’s health in obvious ways, but even addictions that are not substance related will have an effect on a person’s physical body, even if for no other reason than addiction heavily interferes with a person’s passions and goals, making what used to be important to them go by the wayside. A professional athlete, who needs to train daily to remain competitive, cannot afford this kind of distraction. The other commitments in their life, such as personal relationships, cannot survive addiction either. The best thing a professional athlete can do for themselves, their careers and their loved ones is seek addiction treatment.

Professional athletes should know that there are addiction treatment programs created specifically for them. The pressures that athletes face are unique, and mental health professionals and addiction specialists know that addiction treatment for a professional athlete has to be created specifically for them. In fact, many of the staff members of addiction treatment programs for athletes are former athletes themselves, and know very well the challenges and hardships that fall on professional athletes. In addiction treatment, or a rehabilitation program, athletes will go through a complete detox, if it was a substance they were addicted to, followed by an in-depth treatment that can last anywhere from 30 to 90 days, or longer. In treatment, the athlete will learn the underlying causes for their addiction and how to manage them. They will work diligently through workbook exercises, readings, therapy sessions and group meetings to reach a point where they can maintain their recovery. These treatment methods will be designed to address the competitive, passionate nature of a professional athlete. If necessary, the individual will take up residence in an on-site sober living facility once treatment is done in order to gradually reintroduce themselves to the outside world. The treatment schedule is often worked around the practices and meetings the athlete needs to attend.

The Pressures on Professional Athletes

substance abuse athletesProfessional athletes lead remarkable lives. Sports are on the world’s oldest and yet most civilized ways of competing for glory. Unlike war, sportsmanship means testing your own abilities while doing no harm to others. Sportsmanship is a noble calling, yet it is not without its corruptions and its negative effects. The pressure on professional athletes to perform like machines and continuously improve their performance can be overwhelming. Many athletes cannot take the stress and expectations that rest on their shoulders and turn to addiction or substance abuse in order to cope. The life of an athlete is rewarding, but full of challenges.

The obvious pressure on professional athletes is to be the best. This pressure is both internal and external. People become athletes because they are inspired to strive for the personal glory of being the best in their sport. The extent they are willing to go to in order to achieve this title is remarkable. However, it is possible for an athlete to put too much pressure on themselves to be the best and push themselves beyond their means. Many athletes end up with injuries or illnesses due to their own unwillingness to rest. External pressures can come from coaches, support systems, sponsors and anyone else who is invested in the athlete’s performance. What the athlete does in their sporting arena is a reflection on the people who have invested time, energy or money into the athlete, and it is possible for them to apply undue pressure to the athlete to perform. This can cause feelings of anxiety and stress within the athlete.

In the same vein, athletes feel particularly pressured to perform from the very start of their careers because an athlete’s career peaks while they are still young. An athlete’s teens to thirties is the age range in which they are expected to perform the best, depending on the sport. In many gymnastic Olympic events, athletes are merely teenagers. Once an athlete is in their forties, the potential for injury becomes much higher, prompting athletes to push themselves the hardest while they are young.

Every athlete needs to learn to deal with hardships in a healthy manner. If you are stressed or anxious due to the pressure to perform, see a counselor. If you are in physical pain, see a specialist such as a Kelowna chiropractor. If your current coach is making stress worse, find a new one. Do whatever you have to do to deal with stress correctly and avoid substance abuse.


Addicted Athletes

addicted athletesAny stressful profession creates the potential for addiction or substance abuse among its professionals, and sports is no exception. Professional athletes experience high volumes of stress and anxiety over the pressure to perform, beat their opponents and not display any signs of weakness. For some, this pressure proves to be too overwhelming, and drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling or one of many other types of addiction becomes their escape. Many are unable to control their addictions and, over time, their ability to perform athletically, maintain relationships and stay healthy becomes hindered due to their addiction. Often, athletes rise to glory just to be taken down by addiction.

One common form of addiction among professional athletes is an addiction to performance enhancing drugs. The question of whether or not performance enhancing drugs such as steroids are addictive is heavily debated. Some argue that they are not chemically addictive, but science would reason otherwise. Addiction can be identified by the characteristic of tolerance. Any substance that people deliberately ingest and can become tolerant of is identified as addictive. If the substance produces a desirable effect for the person, but the person has to continuously increase how much of it they use in order to keep achieving its effects, it is an addictive substance. Which is not to say that every person who uses it will become addicted, but those who do become addicted to the effects of the drug are in danger of jeopardizing their careers and their quality of life.

Other common forms of addiction among professional athletes are to recreational drugs, alcohol and sex. Athletes are people who crave and thrive on extreme circumstances and stimulation so escaping through extremely pleasurable substances or activities is common among athletes. Recreational drugs remove the mind from the person’s current circumstances and take them out of themselves. Alcohol numbs a person to feelings and briefly removes a person from their negative emotions. Sex is a similar kind of escape, creating an intensely pleasurable experience that allows a person a moment’s time to forget about their problems.