#41: Self-Regulation for the Self-Critical Athlete w/ Sports Neuroscientist Julia Eyre

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It’s no secret that our athletes are more stressed than ever.

You already know the impacts that her academics, sport, relationships are having on your daughter.

Not to mention those of you that are navigating the college recruiting process!

It can be tough for the athlete, but also tough as a parent to know how to best support her as she manages the stress in her life.

That’s exactly why I sat down with sports neuroscientist Julia Eyre to talk all about stress, self-regulation, and the impact that stress has on the performance of athletes.

Julia is a sport neuroscientist who talks loudly about load management, speed, pain, menstruation, stress, queer issues and athlete mental health. Before founding White Lion Performance Group, she coached at the collegiate level and researched in clinical psychology. She now partners with clubs and institutions as a sport/neuroscience consultant, athletic coach, and instructor. She prioritizes healthy humans over everything.

In this episode, Julia and I talk about:

The differences between acute and chronic stress

One is needed and useful, and one is detrimental to the well-being of athletes.

We also talk about what’s happening in an athlete’s body during perceived stressful events and why long-term stress can negatively impact their performance.

Why self-critical athletes tend to suffer from long-term chronic stress

Self-critical athletes are typically the ones beating themselves up over mistakes, criticizing their performance, and over-training to reach their goals.

This can easily lead to situations where they are chronically stressed and always “on.”

The impact that stress can have on outcomes

Julia dives into why chronic stress on athletes (physical, mental, emotional) is detrimental to an athlete’s performance. Much like having the gas-pedal “down” all the time, this is the quickest way to lead to overuse and burnout.

Why awareness around stress is crucial to the well-being of the athlete

An athlete’s nervous system is essential to her success. Her well-being (in and out of her sport) is determined by her ability to navigate these stressors in a way that leads to longevity in her sport, relationships, and life.

The important role that parents play in helping athletes manage stress

As her mom, you play a key role in helping your athlete manager her stress.

What you say, the opportunities you provide her, and where you place your attention and focus all impact an athlete’s capacity for stress and self-regulation.

Strategies that athletes can use to avoid burnout

Key strategies that athletes can use include taking intentional time off of their sport, having activities outside of their sport, and proper rest/recovery.

It’s also important that athletes have support around them, are skilled at navigating the normal stressors of life, and have the ability to listen and trust what their bodies are telling them.

If your athlete leans towards being self-critical, anxious, or is experiencing stress in her life, you’re going to want to take a listen to the informative and valuable information that Julia shares this week!

One way you can help athletes receive mental training to help with their stress response is through our monthly confidence boost text membership! In this program, athletes receive texts 3x a week from me to motivate, inspire, and provide tangible tips for them to ensure their mental game is their biggest competitive advantage. Enroll here: www.kristinabreanne.com/boost


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