Pregnancy and the Mental Game

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Whether a recreational or competitive athlete, maintaining fitness during pregnancy and returning to sport post-pregnancy has its challenges. Some competitive athletes plan their pregnancies based on their schedules. They try to time their pregnancies. Kara Goucher was very vocal about the window of time she would try to get pregnant. She even stated after a certain point they would stop trying so it would not affect her focus on making it to the 2012 Olympic Games. Timing was on her side and now, a few months after giving birth, she is beginning to build up her training. This is not an easy task!!

During pregnancy, physical abilities are inconsistent. One day an athlete may perform just fine, and the next consists of a workout full of struggles. An athlete may begin to question themselves, and might wonder if they’ve lost their abilities forever. Self-confidence turns into self-doubt. Self-talk is not motivating. Common sense may occasionally remind one that pregnancy poses a lot of physical demands on the body, BUT that doesn’t always help. Thank you hormones!

So how do those professional athletes make their comebacks? How do they maintain their self-confidence? How do they keep their self-talk positive and constructive? Well, they rely on a STRONG SUPPORT SYSTEM, which can include family, friends, coaches, teammates, and SPORT PSYCHOLOGY PROFESSIONALS.

If you are going through a life changing moment, pregnancy or otherwise, add to your support system. Contact SPINW to see how we can help!

About the Author: Lisa Peetz received an M.A. in Sports and Exercise Psychology.  Lisa is an avid runner who appreciates and is addicted to marathon running.  She uses her athletic experience in her mental skills training by individualizing skills to be both sports and life specific.

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