The more I talk to athletes (and non-athletes too), it seems that each day gets harder without sport.
People are missing their teammates, struggling with the lack of structure in their day, even losing their identity and purpose. Recreational athletes are missing their fitness classes, the social contacts, and the accountability. They are losing motivation to work out on their own.
We’ve all lost our favorite way to manage stress. Our bodies, hearts and minds are starting to be affected.
Many thanks to WZZM13 for taking the following interview, where I share in your pain as we struggle with coping without sports during this global pandemic:
I encourage you to hold on to your athletic identity, to set goals, and to use your mental toughness to overcome this adversity as you would in sport. This challenge is time limited, and we will overcome.
We each have a responsibility to to our part (e.g., wash hands, social distancing, etc.) But that doesn’t make it easy. And offering ways of coping without sports doesn’t take away the pain or frustration. It doesn’t replace the loss. We have to bring these feelings along with us as we do the right thing – the frequent hand washing, avoiding social gatherings, and working out on our own.
Remember you aren’t alone. I continue to keep a full schedule seeing all clients on a HIPAA-secure online platform. So, if the stress, anxiety, and/or sadness starts to rise – please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me support you in the days and weeks ahead. Be well.
Dr. Eddie O’Connor is a nationally recognized clinical and sport psychologist, and has traveled the country speaking to schools, universities, teams, business organizations, and academic conferences about how to overcome obstacles to excellence.