The Psychological Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Elite Athletes, Management Strategies and Post-pandemic Performance Expectations: A Semi Structured Interview Study
Keywords:COVID-19, elite athlete, pandemic, post-pandemic performance expectations, psychological impact, Sports
This article investigates the psychological impact of COVID-19 pandemic on elite athletes, their management strategies, and post-pandemic athletic performance expectations. Based on a purposive and snowball sampling technique eighteen elite athletes were interviewed online. The questioning includes thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in the pandemic process. Most athletes have concerns regarding the future (31.5%) and gained self-awareness (26.3%). 40% of athletes have been struggling with anxiety, however, 40.47 % of whom doing physical training at home while 33.33% of those are into mental training. Besides, 72.22% of athletes expect to lower their post-pandemic athletic performance. As a result of the study, most elite athletes have been going through anxiety about future enigma related to both sports environment and athletic performance. They mostly were able to overcome the process by doing physical and mental training at home. Most of them have expected to lower their athletic performance after getting back to the field.
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