Athletes are most vulnerable to physical and psychological reactions to stress and anxiety. There are certain relaxation techniques that can help players to relax and these techniques if followed regularly can help them improve their game these techniques can e followed before a match and even during a match to control stress.
The different techniques that can help the athletes are breathing, meditation, muscle relaxation and visualization exercises. It is a known fact that sport is more a mental than a physical feat and to be ready mentally for a big game, athletes can rely on these relaxation techniques.
Step 1. Deep breathing
It is common for sportsmen to succumb to anxiety before a match; the athletes experience muscle tightening and an increased heart rate as a result. These side effects of anxiety act as a handicap and come in way of the performance of the players. They find it difficult to concentrate on the game and lose focus and concentration. Deep breathing can immensely help them to relax and loosen their tight body muscles.
Deep breathing help the players to get rest and this technique when used in combination with other techniques proves all the more powerful.
Step 2. Meditation.
Meditation is another useful technique that can help a player to reduce stress and to perform at a peak level. This technique emphasizes that one concentrates only on the present thought and blocks out all the other thoughts that confuse the mind. The catch is to focus on a word or a manta that will help the athlete to forget about all his fear and anxiety and help him to concentrate better on his game.
Step 3. Muscle relaxation.
The most damaging effect of stress on athletes is that it causes the muscles to contract and the breathing to slow down. This causes the hear rate to increase and a lot if energy is consumed. Muscle relaxation technique should be practiced by an athlete on a regular basis. This way he can relax the tensed muscle whether it is a clenched jaw or a still fist.
While taking deep breath the athlete should focus on tightening the muscles and relaxing then when he is exhaling.
Step 4. Visualization.
The key to win a game is to believe and visualize that you can actually win the game. Confidence or the lack of it can make or break the athlete. The athlete must take some time and in a quiet place to visualize the proceedings of the game. For example if he is a basket ball layer he should visualize how his muscles tense up when he is about to shoot the ball and how his fingers react to it when the balls are about to leave the finger tips. Visualizing a perfect match and a win can make all the difference to your confidence and like wise to your game.