By Robert B. Andrews MA, LMFT
The shutdown of schools and all sports programs has created quite a shock wave in the families, homes, and lives of athletes who suddenly find themselves without a sport. I have been receiving a lot of inquiries from parents seemingly lost on what to do with their athletes at home. Understandably, this can be a tough transition for all the family members involved.
These losses not only impact the athlete, but are systemic in nature. They affect the entire family.
I thought it might be timely to provide a few tips to help parents cope with this stressful time we all face.
Seven Keys to a Healthy Transition
1. Normalize the first week or two. Look at this like a holiday for the first week or so. Athletes suddenly find themselves at home with little to no schoolwork, no structured workouts, and no competitions. Let them sleep in for a while. I see so many athletes who are sleep-deprived from their rigorous schedules. The grind of training, school, homework, and competitions has left many athletes with serious sleep deprivation. I see athletes that are 40 to 60 hours a month behind in their needed sleep! And we wonder why athletes seem to struggle so much with anxiety and get overwhelmed so easily. Give them time to get caught up. You will see they will be able to better handle the curve ball they have been thrown. They will handle stress, down time, the experience of being disconnected from their sport, and a lack of exercise much better with adequate sleep. [Read more…]