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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.

HANDLING PRESSURE AS AN ATHLETE

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.

DRUG ABUSE AMONG ATHLETES

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.

REASONS WHY ATHLETES BECOME ADDICTED

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.