by Kyle Beard on Saturday, October 5th, 2019
Olympic runner Deena Kastor wrote a book called “Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory” which talks about how she conquered her fear of losing by having the mindset of a winner. This mindset of learning that losing did not mean she was a disappointment made her the first American woman to run a marathon in less than two hours and 20 minutes as well as earn an Olympic medal in the marathon in two decades. When you are an athlete, it is not enough to be physically strong, but mentally fit as well to learn that you can lose and still be a winner.
Athletes have to deal with many pressures from coaches and teammates about how to improve their game. Social media and technology tend to increase those pressures when you have thousands of people critiquing your game. Giving into these pressures can lead you to having poor self-esteem, self-criticism, and engage in unhealthy behaviors to improve your game like substance abuse or steroids like Lance Armstrong did. It is easy to feel like a failure when you lose a game as it is more common to lose than to win.
Athletes need to learn how to cope with the mental illness symptoms that occur as a result of the sport they play. The first step is recognizing you have a problem. There is still a giant stigma around mental illness in sports in fear of coming off as weak to your coaches, teammates, or fans.
Athletes can meet up with counselors to help identify the areas they struggle with physically and mentally and then change their thought patterns or behaviors. For example, a basketball player could be freezing up when it comes to making a free throw. A counselor could provide that athlete with relaxation techniques, positive affirmations, or how to recognize their strengths outside of the sport. Introducing mental health skills to athletes will help them become much better players and people going forward. They will know to immediately reach out to someone when they are struggling and to use their mental health coaching to get them through any hurdle. An athlete being in control of their mental health will improve their relationships, their game, health, and every other aspect of their life.
Located in Centennial, Colorado, Restoration Therapy works with patients who are struggling with addiction, intimacy disorders, and trauma who are seeking treatment. In order to offer patients a more holistic view on healthy sexuality, Restoration Therapy offers individualized and group therapy, workshops, psycho-educational classes, and more to restore the harm brought on by addiction and intimacy issues. For more information, please call us at (720) 446-6585 as we are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.