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Stress Management

Managing pressure
Fear of failure
Stress management
managing stress in sport

What managing stress means

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.

Keys to managing stress

Here are some keys to what you need to do to manage stress successfully in order to maximise your chances of sporting success.

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


Watch this video

To develop your understanding of stress, watch this video in which Jonny Wilkinson reveals his secrets for dealing with stress.


Read this book

Read Performing Under Pressure: Gaining the Mental Edge in Business and Sport by Saul Miller.