Navigating Sport Through Covid 19 by Naomi James

What’s really going on?
Covid has impacted
people across the world
and athletes are no
exception. Sports shutting
down has had both
physical and psychological
effects on the well-being
of athletes around the
globe. Sports offers not
only an outlet to channel
energy but also a social
aspect. It can be a safe
haven for those who look
forward to attending
practices or training
regularly. Individuals who
strongly identify as
athletes may be feeling
the repercussions of not
being able to play.
What psychological
effects could there be?
While there are no
definitive answers,
psychologically athletes
could be experiencing a
loss of identity, a loss of

motivation, increasing
anxiety regarding the
future of their sport and
feelings of isolation. These
are not the entire scope of
psychological components
that could be impacted
but give us a glimpse of
what athletes may be
experiencing at this time.
What can we do about it?
While we can’t open gyms
back up for athletes
completely, or return to
play quickly, keeping
athletes focused and
address athlete’s mental
well-being during Covid
can help them stay
prepared. While there are
many psychological skills
that would be useful,
Naomi James has come up
with a short acronym that
athletes can use to stay
positive throughout and
after Covid called, AACE.
Remember AACE
AACE stands for:
A-Awareness
A-Acceptance
C-Control
E-Execution
Let’s look at how we
might use AACE. Johnny
is a soccer athlete who
frequently experiences
feelings of anxiousness
about the future of his
sports. He can use AACE to

help him overcome his
feelings of uncertainty.
A is for Awareness.
Johnny first becomes
aware of what he is
experiencing. He may
something like, “I’m
feeling anxious right now.”
A is for Acceptance.
Johnny then accepts his
feelings and the current
situation surrounding
Covid. He may say, “It’s
okay to feel anxious and
be upset that I can’t play
with my team right now.”
C is for Control. Johnny
thinks about what is
within his control. This
may sound like, “I know I
want to get back to my
team, and I can’t control
that. I can ask my brother
if he will go outside with
me so I can keep
practicing.”
E is of Execute. Johnny
goes outside with his
brother and feels better.
AACE is just the start
While this acronym is
handy, and can be used as
many times as necessary,
it is not a permanent fix
for those who are
experiencing increasing
anxiety regarding their
current situation(s).
Should anyone need more
assistance, a Mental
Performance Coach or

another qualified health
professional would be a
great person to speak to in
order to navigate these
times.

About Naomi
Naomi James is an MPC
who works with athletes
regularly. She works with
a variety of sports and
levels to help athletes
build awareness,
overcome obstacles and
elevate performance. Get
in touch with Naomi on
Instagram
naomijames_mpc or check
out
www.naomijamesconsulti
ng.com to find out how
she can help during these
times.

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