Competition 2: Managing Stress

  • April 09, 2015

Coach Responses

During the competition, how do you help your athletes manage stress and expectations?

Share your tips and best practices!

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Coach Norma Perez – Swimming – Ottawa

“First I asked them which events they would like to participate, so they do not feel extra stress swimming events they do not like to.

Second, we keep together during the whole meet, so all swimmers can cheer other team members while they are swimming.

Third, I always remind them to enjoy their event, that they are well prepared and now its time to enjoy. It is great to see their faces after they swim, they feel so proud of them, they did it!”

Coach Guy Tapah – Soccer – Ontario

“Many of my athletes that compete are ones that are physically and mentally prepared. During practices, we go over the physical but also the mental side to Soccer.

During competition there isn’t that much time to get down on yourself. So as a coach at the beginning of the season, we always have a bonding event to bring the players together. This will create an atmosphere of togetherness around the club, and during a competition, if one of the players is down on themselves their teammates will comfort them.

You must create this atmosphere around your team and club that winning certainly isn’t everything. If a team can come together and become best friends from the beginning of the season to the end, it will outweigh the result.”

Coach Barry Grubman – Tennis – Toronto – 15 years

“I try to work with my athletes in practice to manage their stress. We do many game-like situations so my athletes will feel comfortable when they are in a stressful situation. Another technique I use as a coach is that I tell my athletes to never look at the draw beforehand. Tennis is a sport where it is just you on the court against your opponent. By not knowing who you are going to be playing in the 1st round or even the finals, allows for my player’s to focus on their game before the tournament and not their opponents.

Finally, I sit down with my athletes every 6 months or so, and we write down a list of their goals and expectations. This is so that we have physical evidence of what the athlete would like to achieve in the next 6 months. Then we can go back to these expectations and review them after the 6 months have passed.”

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