Stress and sports performance.

Stress is an underrated and often overlooked factor in the progression or regression of a persons ability to perform at their best, particularly in the sporting environment. I recently came across an article by ‘the running physio’ on the subject which prompted me to put out on my social media pages and compile to form this short blog.

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This image is aimed at runners but you can see how the same effects could be having an impact on others sports too. Its worth considering your level of stress if you find you are not adapting to training as well as previously.

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Some level of stress can have a positive effect on our performance. It can provide us with a stimulus that can help with concentration, alertness and reaction time as well as other useful benefits. However too much stress can upset the balance and can be harmful to our health and sports performance. This u shaped curve diagram shows this nicely. Another find from the running physio.

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This image shows how stress can influence our day to day lives. Too little stress can mean we are in a place called ‘underload’, this means we are not stimulated enough to effectively and efficiently carry out tasks that will make our day easier of improve our performance. After this we have our optimum stress level, this is where we are at our best regarding workload, effort, concentration and sports performance. You can see in the diagram that there is a fine balance between optimum stress levels and too much stress causing something called ‘overload’ which can lead to fatigue and exhaustion. Beyond this we start to risk problems such as anxiety, panic and fear as we begin to risk breaking down and burning out.

About the author

Stress and sports performance

Michael is an Osteopath, aspiring strength coach and competitive powerlifter