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Help Athletes Balance their Emotions….

Emotions are something we feel, a response to our environment, to a situation or a reaction perhaps to something someone said. Memories ignite emotions too.

For the athlete balancing emotions for the purpose of performance is determined by how you choose to respond to your environment & what you allow your mind to focus on.

This is independent from mental health which concerns your mental capacity to be able to interpret, understand and cope the stress of competition.

With emotional health the feelings may be strong but there is the ability to regain a level of control by choice.

Being an elite athlete brings with it a stressful , intense world which is what we spend hours training for and at the very heart of athletic competition.

Within Mental health conditions however, emotional control can be severely diminished due to cognitive impairment which may require medical diagnosis, intervention & treatment removing that choice or ability from the athlete to regain control until the impairment is treated.

For the outsider observing a sporting event  it is reckless to throw the mental health umbrella over a set of circumstances as the reason athletes experience  emotional disturbances.

The media is quick to announce the need for mental health support when maybe what is most needed is direction and skills in emotional regulation.

These throw away blanket statements are confusing for the athletes and undermine the level of seriousness mental health conditions impact an individual.

A person with a mental health condition is deeply disadvantaged and limited in their ability to self correct. The mere ability to process thoughts is overwhelming & the whole body feels the condition due to an Impairment within the mind.

This is not the same as being emotionally unbalanced.

If you are feeling your emotions are interfering with your performance it may be time to learn skills to redirect and channel your energy. It can be simple as limiting your focus and removing associations which stimulate feelings unproductive for performance.

Labeling athletes incorrectly with mental health terms is not only contributing to clouding an athletes understanding of how to process what they feel but it limits their capacity to help themselves.

On top of this it is also deeply disrespectful to those individuals who live with life long mental health conditions where exercise in itself is an enormous feat.

Normalize psychological support for athletes without creating false association with serious medical conditions.

Coach B

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