Professional athletes are individuals who face unique forms of stress in their workplace. No other profession is as physically driven as that of an athlete. Their bodies are their instruments of workmanship and they spend a rigorous amount of time keeping them strong and performing functionally. When an athlete has a successful performance and their body works the way they intended it to, they are in a great place mentally. But when they give a poor performance and their body does not function the way it should, or even worse their body is traumatized by an injury, they are not in a good mental place at all. People seldom consider how the physical stress an athlete goes through translates to their mental stress, but it is very common.
Physical stress is initiated into an athlete’s life on a regular basis. Because their bodies are the tool they use in their work, their bodies bear the brunt of the hardships of their work. Training and performances or competitions alike are extremely physically taxing on athletes. They come away with sore muscles and hurting joints, in need of physical therapy, heat and ice. Some athletes sustain major traumatic injuries while others may sustain a gradual overuse injury. It is almost inevitable that every athlete will endure a serious injury over the span of their career.
What non-athletes do not realize is that the physical stress that athletes go through translated directly to mental stress. An athlete in perfect physical condition is likely to feel confident, secure and unstoppable, but this feeling does not last long for most athletes. Every day, they are put into dangerous physical situations that threaten their physical wellness. When an injury finally does catch up to them, they are instantly battling dark thoughts of what will become of them. Every athlete knows that a serious injury can end their career. All of their hard work and physical training can be undone by a serious injury. An athlete’s mental strength is severely put to the test by the physical stress they encounter.
Athletes who are experiencing mental stress may want to spend time enrolled in a mental health treatment program in order to regain their mental clarity before taking on more challenges.