Check out this post on stress levels and coaching!
My stress level works as follows:
Summer workouts are short intervals of stress followed by a whole lot of relaxation. I take the time to focus on me. I eat good meals, workout twice a day, go to the pool, sip adult waters, and read books.
Once camp starts things change. The stress picks up, the intervals of stress are both longer and more frequent. Game days are even more intense levels of stress. The frequency, severity, and length are amplified.
When the season is over, I start to wonder “Why am I here?” I teach to be able to coach. There’s no doubt about it. So why am I on campus if there’s no football? That’s another level of introspective stress to overcome. It might not be quite the same stress but it’s stress none-the-less. It’s the kind that sits on you all day and oozes like pancake syrup.
But by the time winter and spring workouts roll around it’s summer lifting, camp, and another season all over again.
So what can us coaches do to survive these feelings?
Focus on human being, not just human body
In-season my goals are to lift twice a week, do yoga twice a week, and do cardio twice a week. Now, the current position I’m in allows for this because I take my class of 8-12 to PE every day and we lift weights and do yoga together. I then run on Saturday and Sunday on the treadmill, also easy because I live in a complex with a gym no one else uses. Now, a lot of that is the human body, even if yoga focuses on the human being.
Figure out what relaxes you. For me, I love acupuncture. Acupuncture is a lot more than just some wacky needle thing. It’s the best 45 minute nap of your life. You feel entirely better after going. I’ve used it for a pinched nerve, sciatic nerve, torn hamstring, and stress headaches. I’ve done the needles, needles with electro, and cupping. It works, you can’t get addicted to it, and you feel better- not hung over.
Find time to read in your lawn chair with an adult beverage and some good tunes on, or sit in your tree stand, or whatever it is that allows you to be somewhere else besides huddled over Hudl or washing stanky game pants. Manage the practice schedule, weekend schedule, etc so it’s actually beneficial to you. Don’t want to wash practice pants? Stop using them. Switch to shorts and volleyball knee pads. Don’t want to wash out coolers and water bottles? Hire a manager. Hold assistants and managers accountable.
It took 13 years but I’ve realized I don’t lose self worth by losing a game. And even though I’ve come to realize that, it still creeps in if the loss is really bad. A 1 pointer I can get past, a 50 pointer I start re-assessing my entire career. PUT THE BREAKS ON THAT. Hell, don’t even watch that film and move on to the next one.
A therapist once told me to be touched. Like literally touched by someone. Get a 10 minute chair massage at Whole Foods, hug your cat, get a real massage, hug your kids, trade foot-rubs with the wife, you get the gist.
Eat your favorite foods while not eating too much junk in-season. I love Snickers. I love soda. I love beer. I love pizza. But I know it’ll only make me feel weighted down in the long run if I eat nothing but those things. So balance it. Pizza Wednesday, a Snickers Friday, a few beers Sunday.