Well we are almost there, after years of planning, training, and preparation athletes from across the world have been putting the finishing touches to their preparations for the Olympic games in London. While all the sport psychologists who work with these athletes have already earned their money, there is still one final job to do. Athletes may have done all the preparation, but the hard part is yet to come. Performing on the day and coping with the emotional and mental challenges is the final big hurdle for both athletes and sport psychologists. The sport psychologists working with the GB Olympic team in particular have been putting in many hours of hard work in helping athletes to prepare. Over the next two weeks the sport psychologists in the camp are going to need to listen, support, empathize, and advise. The consultants will be on call probably 24 hours a day, to deal with issues as they come up. In the ‘bubble’ that is the Olympic village, emotions will be more intense, failure will appear unbearable and success the ultimate achievement. But, built on a lack of sleep and competing demands who is going to look after the sport psychologists? Listening and absorbing all those emotions is going to take its toll on the consultants. So, while all the athletes will have well developed preparation routines, let’s hope that the sport psychologists have planned for their own rest, recovery and recharging. Ensuring they have their own down-time and quiet-time planned, and their own emotional releases in place. Otherwise there is be a lot of burnt out sport psychologists come September!
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