A Sport Psychologist’s Guide for Returning to Sport and Exercise
The days are getting longer and sport is gradually returning post-lockdown! You might be feeling excited and relieved to be getting a bit more "back to normal". But you might also be feeling anxious or worried about the changes. Here are some top tips to help you get back into the swing of things...
- to yourself! Reflect on how you’re feeling about returning to training and write down any worries. You might be experiencing a whole range of emotions and thoughts, and it’s ok to feel anxious. Some people might be worried about not being able to “pick up where they left off”, or be concerned about the safety measures in place. If you are feeling anxious about getting back into sport, connecting with others can help. Speak to those closest to you (friends, family or coach) about how you’re feeling and ask for some support.
Remember why you do your sport. How does it make you feel? What is the most enjoyable bit about it? What does it mean to you? Reminding yourself of these positive reasons for doing sport and exercise can help you to feel thankful for being able to take part again.
Many people have found it hard to maintain their fitness, strength or conditioning through the pandemic which can impact their confidence and motivation. Ease yourself back into sport, and make gradual changes to build it back into your routine. Take it one step at a time and celebrate the small wins along the way.
Your goals might need to change and adapt after having a long time away from sport. Revisit them and adjust them if necessary. Setting some small, achievable goals and reviewing them on a weekly basis can be helpful. Keep a training diary to reflect on your feelings and track your progress as you return to your sport.
Embrace Performance is a Performance Psychology consultancy based in the UK. We work with athletes, teams, coaches and clubs to help them overcome the mental challenges in sport. Our mission is to help clients perform and feel better.