Monthly Archives: January 2016

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.