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The importance of relaxation in sport
For all the joy that an athlete experiences in sport, there is undoubtedly stress that balances it out. One of the most important skills for succeeding in sport, especially at the highest levels, is to learn to manage the stress to the best of your ability. You’ll often hear people talking about learning to control the controllable and this is a nice way to think about it. You can’t control bad officiating, lousy accommodation, horrible weather (especially in the UK), last-minute schedule changes or freak accidents.
You can, however, control how you physically and mentally prepare for your event and most importantly, you can control how you choose to respond to all these things. Prepared athletes and coaches will have thought about all the things that can go wrong, thought about what they would do and most importantly spent time practicing how they would refocus their energy onto the most important thing; competing.