It’s no secret that Olympic athletes face a lot of pressure. Pressure to perform at the most elite level in the world. Pressure to represent their country, state, hometown. Pressure to always be “on”. Add a pandemic to that and the load becomes one that has shown to be quite overwhelming and challenging.
A research study published in October 2020 stated that 1 in 5 Olympic athletes reported facing difficulty exercising due to mental health, motivation and COVID-19. 28 percent of the athletes surveyed in the study reported feeling nervous or anxious more than half of the days in a given week.
These stressors Olympic athletes face can significantly impact their overall well-being and performance if not addressed. Studies have shown that athletes who manage stress surrounding training as well as in competition can improve performance.
Over the last several years, Olympic athletes have started to speak out regarding how they manage their stress and the barriers they have faced regarding addressing their mental and physical health. One of the most discussed topics is how practicing mindfulness is key to quality performance and overall wellness during training and in competition.