How Anxiety and Stress Affect Your Game | Ohio State Sports Medicine

How Anxiety and Stress Affect Your Game | Ohio State Sports Medicine


DR. STEVE GRAEF: Amongst all the struggles
that people tend to go through, both clinically and in the performance realm, I think the
one that really is widespread and can impact both our performance in life and performance
on the field of play is that of anxiety and dealing with just general stress. These days,
we have so much on our plate. So many demands. Maybe it’s family, maybe it’s school, maybe
it’s work, maybe it’s social stuff and maybe it’s actually our athletic performance. You
put all those things together and it can end up being a lot for one individual to handle.
Last I checked, we’re not superheroes. And, although we might feel like superheroes, it
can certainly be a struggle. So by and large, anxiety, struggling with that and stress is
something that, if you’re experiencing to a significant level, we can certainly help
you handle. People ask me, “Well, Steve, isn’t it OK to be stressed out? Isn’t there those
times where a little bit of anxiety is OK?” And I often answer them, “Well, absolutely.”
If we weren’t a little bit stressed, we wouldn’t prepare for that job interview, we wouldn’t
prepare for that important game, and we wouldn’t prepare for that date we were going on. But
it’s when the stress becomes too much. So when does the stress become too much? Well
we might find ourselves worrying a lot more. You try to go to bed at night and that hamster
just gets on the wheel, and you’re thinking, thinking, thinking. That might indicate that
something else is going on. If you’re struggling with sleep, or maybe don’t have the appetite
that you once did or find that you’re eating a lot, those are also indications. Maybe not
wanting to be around people as much and just noticing that you’re just not as happy as you
used to be. If those things are going on for you and you just think, “Ugh, something is
not quite right,” you’re probably a little bit more stressed out than typical. And if
that’s you, know that there’s a place where you can kind of get that stuff off your chest
and be able to find a path to be able to deal with it more effectively.

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