A certain amount of stress in an athlete’s sporting, personal, and business lives can be beneficial but too much stress alters the body’s hormone balance. When there is too much stress in an athlete’s life, they may become listless, lose their appetite, have difficulty sleeping, experience mood swings, and become susceptible to infections.

Elite athletes face stress in their sporting lives and in their private and business lives, and it is important to have a healthy and stable lifestyle in the round in order to compete successfully at the highest level.

In order to minimize the potential negative aspects of stress, athletes and coaches need to plan and manage training and competing. Training should be progressive and incremental with planned recovery periods, and there should be a competition schedule which takes account of the athlete’s goals, chances of success, and need for recovery and leisure time.

Managing Stress Tips
1 Develop a manageable schedule of key activities in your sporting, personal, and business lives.
2 Develop a sense of humour and perspective as a shield in times of hardship.
3 When you face difficult situations, stare down reality rather than adopt an overly optimistic assessment of the situation.
4 Maintain your level of interaction with people when you feel stressed rather than cutting yourself off.
5 View training pain (as opposed to injury pain) as a normal part of training and competition.
6 Try to get plenty of sleep and make sure you have a good diet.

What experts say

Tennis is all about mental toughness, and you have to keep your head in the game. I make time to relax away from competition pressures, travel, and intense training schedules to make sure I’m looking after myself. Taking time out with family and friends helps to maintain the work-life balance everyone needs.

Samantha Stosur Tennis Player

I’ve been in a poor physical shape many times in my career and I’ve had some of my best results. My best performances happened because my mind was in the right place. The mind is definitely stronger than the body.

Kelly Slater Surfer

Do the SPQ20 and find out how skilled you are at managing stress