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Rebooting Mind:Coping Strategy for Post Pandemic Competitive Challenges - Part 1

Pandemic challenges on lives of athletes Body and mind

With covid 19 pandemic, lives came to standstill. Much was written about general population, but athlete's lives was impacted to even greater extend since their training routines had been abruptly interrupted. This change caused serious damage to the quality and quantity of training, further distancing the athlete from the reality of their daily training in the traditional preparation sites and uncertainties about the future. Physical, technical, and psychological damage was inevitable. Moreover, to the athletes, significantly reducing training and losing their physical performance capacity meant loss of competitiveness in the return to competition. Thus, sports science professionals and scientists were challenged to help athletes deal with some of these relevant aspects during this period. Daily conditioning training helped to reduce tension and stress from home confinement, but this negative life event affected the mental health of elite athletes. The abrupt change in their daily routine,the adopted home confinement measures, and uncertainty about the date for the return to activities lead athletes to experience conditions that affected their mental health. External sources of distress, including financial problems, bad daily news, as well as internal sources of distress,such as worry about their performance when they return, and tension due to the routine change caused negative feelings such as anxiety, depression and adverse behaviours. Moreover mobile use and gaming addiction, as well as eating and sleep disorders were encountered much more than ever.

Post Pandemic Challenge of Changes in Body and mind. Return to the fields Post Pandemic was yet another challenge for the athletes. Their bodies as well as game was impacted. The fitness was evidently affected, the strength and endurance had to be regained yet the expectations remained the same. Sudden declaration of competitive schedules added fuel to the panic . Unrealistic goals and expectations led to a range of negative emotions that further affected their ability to perform . Fear of Failure led to safe playing and increased their errors that resulted in disappointment. Many leading athletes crashed out unexpectedly in earlier stages of competitions ; increasing frustration, anger, irritation levels of coaches as well as parents of the players.The need to work on mental fitness was identified the most in these tough situations. Adjusting goals as well as developing the skills to manage emotions better both on as well as off fields had been an important change required.

Need to Reboot Mind

Human mind is just like computer and needs to be treated well. Sometimes Rebooting our computer helps keep it running smoothly. It clears the memory, stopping any tasks that are eating up RAM. Even when we've closed an app, it could still tap our memory and fix peripheral as well as hardware issues. Similarly, now is the time to reboot our mind by understanding what's affecting its capacity and keep it running smoothly. Our mind and its functionality is greatly affected by quality of our cognition. Our very own demanding nature can be so damaging and needs to be understood to make our mind function at its best. Demands can be explained as rules of life that include inferences, evaluations, and/or philosophical beliefs with words related to “should,” “ought,” or “must.” Demands can be irrational for several reasons. These demands are considered the primary irrational beliefs that contribute to psychological distress, from which the unhealthy thinking develops. Many times we catastrophize (e.g., “This is 110% terrible!”), rate our worth (e.g., “I/you/the universe am/are/is worthless”), and get frustrated easily (e.g., “I can’t stand/deal with/tolerate this!”). All these beliefs are derived from our own demands. Together, these belief system contribute to, maintain, and increase psychological distress, including anxiety, depression, and/or rage. Learning to revise the demands by replacing them with flexible preferences, or by changing should-related phrases to “I want/wish/can…but there’s no reason I/you/they should is the Rebooting o f mind in true sense. Lets become our own scientists through the process of assessing for evidence of our "demandingness" and editors through the process of revising our demands in our books on The Rules of Life, where if we want or wish to be less psychologically distressed, then we identify, challenge, and revise those demands.


Better understanding of the our "DEMANDINGNESS" can help athletes, parents and coaches shift from unhealthy thinking to more healthier and helpful thinking patterns. Emotions like anger, frustration, irritation as well as guilt, worry and nervousness can all be managed well if they understand how their own demanding nature caused these emotions. Rebooting our minds and its demands can help train, perform and achieve the form one wants.

About the author

Amruta Karkhanis Deshmukh is a former national champion cyclist, triathlete, and long-distance swimmer and now an experienced, qualified sports psychologist. She is well placed to explain how fitness and sports professionals can develop in their client's and trainee's motivation, confidence, mental toughness, goal-setting, and visualization. She will also show how psychology and mental health can be used in clients' assessment and exercise prescription. More than ever before, psychology and mental fitness is now a critical tool in the hands of fitness/sports professionals.

About Simply Sport

Simply Sport is a sports policy research & development organization based out of India. Simply Sport’s vision is to promote sports as an effective tool for the development of the nation. It focuses on policy research, grassroots development and the use of technology in sports. To subscribe to Simply Sports Newsletters, Research & Articles, please write to You can follow Simply Sport on the Twitter handle @_SimplySport for more sports-related content.

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