Issue: Do scholastic athletes cope with stress in academic tasks and everyday life better than non-athletes?
Position: Scholastic athletes tend to cope with stressful situations and counteract the manifestations of anxiety both in the academic environment and everyday life more successfully than non-athletes.
Premise 1: In their sports training and competitions, athletes learn to accept stress as a natural condition and stimulus that is essential to overcome to win.
Premise 2: Mental health training achieved through successful stress management allows scholastic athletes to apply the learned skills not only in sports but also in everyday life.
Premise 3: Perceiving stress as a motivation for success makes it possible to concentrate better, thereby eliminating extraneous distractions and focusing on the task at hand.
Given the specific principles of training and perception of anxiety, scholastic athletes tend to demonstrate more successful strategies for coping with stress in everyday life and in the academic environment than non-athletes.
Constant participation in sports competitions is associated with regular stress, which is inevitable due to the nature of sports. However, as Dos Santos et al. (2020) state, an appropriate lifestyle allows athletes to train their minds, thereby strengthening resistance to anxiety conditions. The authors cite the techniques that coaches teach their trainees and mention positive sleeping habits, breathing practices, meditation, and other approaches designed to minimize the negative impact of stressful situations (Dos Santos et al., 2020). As a result, when confronted with tension and anxiety in non-sporting environments, athletes unconsciously activate stress suppression mechanisms, thereby maintaining their sanity.
Regular physical exercises are a tool to reduce anxiety and improve morale. Dos Santos et al. (2020) argues that after performing a set of prescribed exercises, athletes reduce the electrical activity of the muscles, which correlates with relaxation. This may be due to post-workout euphoria or an endorphin response. Associated neurotransmitters are also involved in producing feel-good hormones, and the athlete can react less to external stimuli in stressful situations because his or her body copes with anxiety more sustainably. This applies to any situation since consciousness does not separate academic anxiety from everyday one, which, in turn, helps athletes adhere to a single relaxation mechanism.
Nutrition also plays a critical role, and it is usually well-balanced in athletes. People who exercise regularly tend to eat more and prefer healthy foods (Doherty et al., 2019). Good nutrition helps the body successfully cope with stress and its consequences. This is due to metabolic functions optimized with training, which manifests itself in many forms, including emotional and muscle relaxation (Doherty et al., 2019). As a result, an athlete’s nervous system can tolerate anxiety states more steadfastly than untrained people due to a healthy diet that improves well-being.
Self-esteem is a valuable trait to train for successfully coping with stress, and due to their constant physical training, athletes develop this quality better than non-athletes. According to Codonhato et al. (2018), a positive outlook is formed through an individual vision, and regular sports and competitions increase self-confidence and stimulate emotional resilience. Problem-solving skills are gained and contribute to avoiding unnecessary anxiety. Thus, when taking into account the collected findings, one can note that scholastic athletes cope with stress in the academic environment and everyday life more successfully than non-athletes.
Codonhato, R., Vissoci, J. R. N., do Nascimento, J. R. A., Mizoguchi, M. V., & Fiorese, L. (2018). Impact of resilience on stress and recovery in athletes. Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte, 24(5), 352-356.
Doherty, R., Madigan, S., Warrington, G., & Ellis, J. (2019). Sleep and nutrition interactions: implications for athletes. Nutrients, 11(4), 822. Web.
Dos Santos, M. L., Uftring, M., Stahl, C. A., Lockie, R. G., Alvar, B., Mann, J. B., & Dawes, J. J. (2020). Stress in academic and athletic performance in collegiate athletes: A narrative review of sources and monitoring strategies. Frontiers in Sports and Active Living, 2(42), 1-10. Web.