Sportspersons-Manage your psychology smartly well in Covid Times
—This Too Will Pass
Covid-19 pandemic has a global effect in virtually locking down the people in their homes for a long time and uncertainty looms large as fresh positive cases are coming everywhere. Sportspersons both amateur as well as professional are having hard times off the tracks, though tracks and grounds allure athletes to come for practice.Govts. are opening up stadiums cautiosly as they are taking no risks with the well being of athletes and sportspersons since Covid-19 virus is behaving differently with different strata of individuals. Anyone who has very week immunity is more prone to be struck with virus if he/she is exposed to the carriers of these virus situations.
Paul Wylleman, PhD Psychology a professor at Brussels teaching in a number of fields, including sports psychology, high performance management and mental support for athletes gives important insights for players.He provides online support to Olympic games since 2003 and since 2013 have also been working as Performance Manager in Performance Behavior at Team Netherland and is also associated with the National Olympic Committee of the Netherlands. IOC has officially put his counseling tips for athletes in Covid-19 times. Here is his advice:
- Choose trusted communication channels:The spread of the corona virus is, of course, a major news story. This can lead to an overwhelming amount of information coming your way. It is important that you have trusted sources that you can check two to three times per day, but make sure not to consume too much information, as this may lead to a feeling of being overwhelmed or even helplessness. To find out whether new information matters to you as an athlete, ask yourself: “What does this mean for me and my entourage?”
- Manage your thoughts:It is normal to feel a certain amount of confusion and anxiety in this situation. Make sure you stay on top of this by actively controlling your thoughts. You have to accept that you cannot always be in control of the situation, but that you have the ability to take some specific measures that can deal with your challenges, to keep your daily life as structured as possible. Negative thoughts and feelings occur to everyone in times like this, but avoid paying too much attention to them. Try to shift your attention by focusing on a word, thought or behavior that actively helps you to relax, let go and live your daily life. One technique you can use is the 456. Four times a day, you should breathe in for five seconds and then breathe out for six seconds while slowly lowering your shoulders. This will help relieve tension and unrest.
- Adapt to your new surroundings: Make a plan to help adapt to measures such as Social -distancing,not shaking hands and washing your hands regularly. Visualizing how you will behave can help you to keep up your daily activities and deal with the feeling that something is missing, or that you are acting in a rude or unfriendly way.
- Keep your eye on the future: All of you will have your training and competition schedules disrupted in some way. Make sure you regularly speak with your coach and entourage about how to manage your daily training, but also coach yourself to maintain supportive thoughts and feelings. Eventually, events and competitions will return, so make sure you stay prepared and ready for that moment.Part of this can be done by setting new, concrete goals which fit into your new routine. Establish realistic and achievable goals, which you have discussed with your coach and plan to achieve through daily activities.
- Sharpen your online social game: While isolating yourself physically may now be a reality for you, one of the most important things you can do during this time is to talk to others remotely, and we are fortunate to live in an era where we can chat to others digitally with ease. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with others is an important part of being human. It can be a lot harder to do online, but maintaining regular contact with your entourageand other people who are important to you is vital to staying #mentallyfit.
- Lean on your network;This situation can make you feel restless, irritable or even insecure. Sometimes this can also lead to a feeling of lack of control, avoidance behavior, disturbed sleep, anxiety or even panic. You will not always be able to communicate with body language at this time, but make sure that you are able to speak to others. Sharing your problems as well as your daily activities will help you to maintain a stable lifestyle in these times, and contact with a licensed mental health professional will help you to deal with the psychological impact of the situation. Be part of the solution by filming your activity and sharing it with fans; this can be therapeutic for you.
(Inputs by Prof. Paul Wylleman (Phd. Psych) have been from International Olympic Committee (IOC) official portal)
–Compiled By Brij Bhushan Goyal ,a sports lover and social activist .