Unprecedented travel restrictions and event cancellations due to coronavirus Covid-19 pose challenging times for focused athletes, especially those who may be on their last hurrah.
With the worldwide spread of coronavirus Covid-19, and so many variables in play, athletes are dealing with unique times. Global sporting events may have to join the list of national and international meets that are shutting down every day around the world. Competitive seasons are coming to abrupt ends, and so too are the dreams, and in some cases the careers, of many elite athletes.
While we hope for a swift return to sporting normality, there is a high chance that it could be a few months away yet. So what can you do, apart from continuing to physically train, to see you through this challenge in a safe and constructive way?
You may be understandably stressed about what may or may not happen. Athletes are used to working towards very clear and focused goals, and feeling in control of their results, so this lack of certainty may challenge your mental health in a way it hasn't been before.
Look after your mental wellbeing by:
With events cancelled, you may have a lot of time on your hands to think about, or keep working on, your dual career efforts and building your life outside sport. Times like this, similar to periods of injury, can really bring it home that a sporting career is fleeting. Having goals and dreams outside of sport are very necessary.
Some of you may use the time to finish university modules and get further down the path you are already on. If you are an athlete who has yet to discover your path outside of sport, thinking about other motivations, passions and goals is a really good way to use your time. It will help decrease any anxiety you may have about what this year will bring in terms of your sporting career.
You can start by engaging with your career development advisor (most of you have one), or if you don’t, you can access one via our sister organisation, The Athlete Advantage (TAA). TAA’s program begins with an assessment, followed by a chat with a qualified person to build a picture and a plan of what life outside sport could look like. There are also short online courses to guide you on your way. Check out the TAA website to find out more.
If you are an athlete who may be facing retirement early because of Covid-19 restrictions, seek help early and often:
There is no doubt that this is a stressful time for everyone, but to pull through a crisis we require strength, commitment, focus and team work - and as an athlete, you have plenty of all four!
This article was originally posted on Crossing the Line.