Football is a sport that attracts masses. In fact, football could also be a job successfully do it - if you play it yourself instead of just looking at it. We explain why.


How success, stress and sport are related

Stress im Office , stress relief on the training ground. Just one of the many links that stress and sport have together. Stress can inhibit exercise, but exercise can also reduce stress. What sounds like a paradox at first glance is reality in the often ignored interaction of body and mind.

Because almost every working athlete has experienced it before: One of those terribly long days at work that just didn't want to end. stress with that Projects, trouble with that Executive, And at this point the sports community is divided into two groups:

  1. After a day like this, one of them goes on the train and trains all the anger and frustration from the soul. The perfect example of stress relief through sport.
  2. The other group is thrown out of the way by the stress but sustainably, the motivation for the training sinks to zero and the results are not even with good will to see positively.

The brain is training

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Many will have already found themselves in one or the other group - the interesting thing is that there is a constant change between the two camps. Who today with some extrarunds on the bench turned the anger to the boss into sweat, tomorrow can be so distracted from the thought of the work so that he counted himself in the repetitions.

And here comes the human again Brain to carry. Because that is just as responsible for good training as the right equipment for a runner. But how does stress affect training? How can he be fought? And why can ignoring one's own psychological performance limit be fatal? The questions are answered below.

Stress - the facts

Everyone knows stress, everyone feels different, but what is it exactly? Strictly according to the lexicon, stress (from Latin for more stringent “tense”) is the physical and psychological reaction to an external stress - the stressor.

The background is primarily evolutionary: stress makes you People more efficient for a period of time. Our ancestors were therefore more alert and had faster reactions.

How Eustress works

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In today's technical language, this phase is referred to as eustress. So a stress that only has a positive effect. However, if the mammoths were too long on the game, the peak was eventually exceeded: the stress level remained the same, the performance curve but fell rapidly and sank down. Today, doctors speak of distress. Simply put, any eustress can become a distress: it only has to last long enough.

This means that the person can withstand little stress over long periods of time, or greater stress through correspondingly shorter phases. This is called stress tolerance and is different in each of them, this article locates its roots even in infancy.

Eustress distress

When stress becomes a problem

But: As soon as the personal peak is exceeded, there is still so much you can do Performance are demanded, the body can no longer supply them. After every stress, the body needs a recovery phase. In the work life for normal athletes, for example, the end of the day and a good night's sleep are sufficient. However, it becomes critical if the body is challenged too hard for too long without being able to recover sufficiently.

Like every machine, the organism also shows signs of failure that become stronger as long as the body is refused recovery:

Depression caused by stress

Above all, the depressions are the psychological ones Problem for athletes, because they can do any Motivation ruin, so that not even a rudimentary training can be maintained. Critical: You can't really prevent depression.

The only remedy is to stop the stress beforehand, before the mood problems turn into depression. It is also extremely important not to ignore these physical signals out of misunderstood bravery. Stress also affects competitive athletes, as will be read later, but with them some effects only become apparent later.

Why sports stress can reduce

For most, sport is a distraction from work - about sitting office activity. In such jobs, the stress has mainly psychological reasons, less physical. Here recreation phases help a stressed organism.

The trick here: This recovery only has to be partially synonymous with “rest”. The stressors simply have to be reduced - how this happens is initially completely the same to the body, and movement also reduces stress.

Real rest is necessary

Nevertheless, of course, he also needs real rest - but he also gets it with a healthy sleep during the night, so it does not have to be generated additionally. And anyone who starts their training at this point after work actively engages in the Balance Enter the “Stress Generator – Stress Relief” scale.

After all, sport is a relaxation factor, even if it is practiced so hard. The stressors that result from the work are thus relieved, relaxation takes place.

How sport and training eliminate stress

And best of all, training can not only eliminate the normal everyday eustress, but also (to a certain extent) the distress.

An example: At work a project is called, which demands several weeks of the highest achievements. First of all, these require Eustress, which can be combated in two ways:

  1. Regular training after the end of the evening. Or, if that is not possible
  2. Extensive training at the weekend

In our example, the stress on the work is so great that these two training variants can not completely dismantle him.

Adjust the stress level

So there is always a certain residual stress that accumulates over the course of the weeks and accumulates together with the ever-new stress to the distress. At the end of the project, the professional sportsman is now quite exhausted - and is therefore not used to the usual training efforts - but now he needs lasting relaxation.

And because this can also be ensured through sport, he does not have to go on vacation, but can steer his stress level back in the usual way through longer and stronger training - provided, of course, the other stressors are reduced. For example, through normal "service according to regulations" instead of the highest project requirements.

Stress training

Why sports can cause additional stress

However, the situation is completely different when sport itself becomes a stressor. This can happen due to training goals that are too high, or during the Preparation to a competition. And here the stress mechanisms in the body work in exactly the same way as with stress that is generated at work. For example, you can Anxiety come into play, which causes additional stress.

Even if a person is on a training plateau, stress can arise: How can I achieve higher performance? Why does my body react only weakly to the training?

When Eustress becomes a distress

And this is where eustress and distress come into play again: in the early phases, the eustress ensures that you can train harder. The mind provides an irrepressible will to win. But if that is not enough for the athlete and he only demands “more” from the body, the point at which the distress predominates inevitably also comes here: the performance drops, and no matter how hard you force yourself, the body no longer plays along.

Then, however, sport is no longer the possibility of recreation for the body, which he still presents with other stressors because he himself became a source of stress. Now, trainers are stuck in a pinch and have to find another way to reduce stress.

Why athletes are better prepared for stress

It is now that exercise can reduce and cause stress at the same time clear. But it is also a third option. Because: Anyone who does sport regularly prepares their body even better for stress itself and the physical and mental consequences of it.

For example, aerobic endurance training: It strengthens the cardiovascularSystem and permanently lowers the resting heart rate. If the person concerned is now stressed, his pulse and blood pressure will also rise. However, because his heart is trained, this has much fewer consequences than with an unsportsmanlike person who is confronted with an otherwise equally strong stress.

In untrained people, the resting heart rate is quite high anyway - so the heart rate-increasing effect Effect of stress much more seriously than with an athlete whose heart responds to the usual stress with a low resting heart rate.

Mental training ensures routine in the mind

At the same time, the mental stress of competitions ensures a gradual routine in the mind: For example, if you have to get a grip on that certain “nerve flutter” every week before a football game and have learned to deal with it, you will also react much more relaxed in other but similar stressful situations - The stress tolerance mentioned above shifts upwards.

However, even fully trained athletes who have learned to deal with the toughest psychological requirements have a limit beyond which stress becomes harmful; depression is widespread among professionals. Only it takes them longer to reach this limit.


Football - and of course many other sports - can help to regulate one's own stress level and thus promote professional success.

Because sport and stress go Hand in hand, both in degradation, as well as generation and resilience to stress. The important thing for athletes is to know their own limits and to accept them. Of course it's one thing, the inside Schweinehund to conquer, but it is quite another to turn the actual stress killer sport into a stress cause.

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