SportStars Magazine

Sports Psychology: Can’t go out amid Covid? GO IN!

Erika Westoff, EW Performance in Pleasanton, CA advice. Can’t go out amid Covid? GO IN!

Sports Psychology: Turning inward to reflect on your thoughts and emotions is a necessary task for creating and maintaining a healthy life. Now, especially amid Covid, is as good as ever to spend some time exploring your inner world.

Ask yourself some sports psychology questions, ponder some ideas. Clarity can come when we have some distance from what we love, and that distance can typically be hard to find when we’re training daily and competing regularly.

The good news is, reflecting doesn’t take a ton of time or effort. It simply takes some dedicated thinking time and writing time. For example, this can happen with a few minutes per day or a longer chunk of time a few times per week. Also, reflective practice is the cornerstone of continuous improvement in sport and life and helps you to navigate the inevitable ups and downs that comes with a competitive lifestyle.

So, let’s get started with sports psychology!  Here are some topics that are fundamental to your growth as an athlete. You may have worked on these before, and if so, I encourage you to do jump in and revisit these topics again. If you’re a MentalApp user, be sure to update your Mchart as needed and include your reflections in your Notebook.

#1 – YOUR WHY

• Reflect on what you love about your sport.  Why did you choose this sport over other sports?  Also why do you want to continue to pursue your sport?
• What do you miss most about your sport and/or competition?
• What are you looking forward to?

#2 – POTENTIAL ROADBLOCKS

• Because of the quarantine break, I am worried about….
• What might slow down my progress with my sport?

#3 – SET GOALS >BIG GOALS

• What are the BIG, long-term goals I have for my sport?
• In addition, what goals do I have for this year?

In what ways do I need to grow as an athlete? See below for sports psychology items to consider.

• Health

°Sleep
°Diet
°Recovery

• Mental performance

°Emotion control
°Manage thinking
°Improve confidence

• Physical

Firstly, Improve cardio
Secondly, Improve strength
Thirdly, Improve agility

• Technical

°Which skills need improvement?
°What training do I need to do to improve?

  1. Work with a coach/trainer
  2. Work on my own

• Tactical (strategy)

°What strategies need improvement?
°How can I study strategy?

  1. Read books
  2. Discuss with coaches
  3. Watch video

How can I work these goals into my day/week?

1. Now (while sheltered)
2. When I return to sport
3. When I return to competition

**If you’re using MentalApp, please update your Mchart as needed!

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Do you need sports psychology support to stay mentally strong?

• I’m working from home and available to meet with clients on Monday’s and some afternoons.  I’d love to hear from you and help you stay mentally fit.

Does someone you know need to begin mental training?

• Now is a great time to prepare for the return of competition
• Also, with extra time on hand, now is a great time for student-athletes to commit to mental training and add an important set of tools for upcoming competitions and training stressors.

Finally, do you know a team, club or organization that wants to include mental training in their shelter-in-place break?

EW Performance offers several fully-online courses to serve groups of all sizes and sports. Reach Erika at <excellenceinsport@gmail.com>; EWPerformance.com

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