COVID-19 has rapidly disrupted the world in ways that couldn’t have been imagined. Social distancing has become the norm, which has made the sports world come to a standstill. Athletes cannot train, practice, or compete and even when some sporting activities have resumed, supporters have been restricted from stadiums. The effect of supporters on the psyche of pro athletes cannot be understated.
The careers of many budding sports stars have plunged into uncertainty. It is incredibly stressful for athletes when they don’t have access to the right training facilities and equipment. They might feel like they’re lagging behind and not growing as quickly as their competitors. There would also be a sense of confusion as they don’t have clarity about what competitions they have to prepare for. This lack of clarity can be dangerous because it can result in athletes losing motivation and falling into negative behavior patterns.
This uncertainty about their careers and futures has resulted in an upsurge in the need for psychological services for athletes. Marcus Manalo, a sports psychology consultant from The Philippines, said that the pandemic has sped up the need for focusing on sports psychology. By derailing several elements of their normal lives, the pandemic has compelled athletes and coaches across various fields to take note of the importance of sports psychology.
Athletes are usually provided excellent physical training, but the mental landscape is often left neglected. Sports psychology not only enhances physical performance, but it also improves the mental wellbeing of an athlete and presents numerous other psychological benefits that can help an athlete improve performances on and off the field. live joyfully.
Manalo believes that three crucial aspects can be improved in an athlete: the body, the skill, and the mind. He believes that taking good care of the mind is essential because its benefits are not limited to sports performance. Having a great mindset helps an athlete with navigating the complexities of life, and it’s vital to be able to do so effectively.
The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) began monitoring the mental wellbeing of the state’s athletes. PSC’s sports psychology department even released mental health guidelines to the official sports associations of the country.
Psychologists are now encouraging athletes to connect with their friends and family members for support. They are also working with athletes to focus on key issues that are causing them distress and then focusing on the controllable factors that could help mitigate these issues.
The PSC has also implemented sound measures to assist the nation’s athletes. On the weekdays, online counseling sessions are provided from 8 AM to 5 PM, with the duration of the sessions lasting between 30 to 45 minutes.
The pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the world and uncertainty seems to be the dominant factor in these times. Athletes and other members of the sporting world must focus on taking good care of their physical and mental wellbeing.