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August 14, 2019   |   Tagged Motivation

Why Stress Can Be Valuable in Sports and Life

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“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” Hans Selyes

Stress isn’t a word that naturally inspires and rightly so. It is a word that the mayo clinic has deemed the number one health hazard. However, at the cell level, stress is absolutely necessary for change. Recently, a trainer referred to the importance of subjecting the body to physical stress. In order for the body to experience transformative gains in strength, speed, or conditioning, the body must encounter some form of stress. This conversation plunged us into the journey of discovering more about stress and the wisdom needed to understand how stress is both dangerous and yet very necessary. Take a look at the fascinating research on stress and how it can inform you to live this month with greater insight.

Why Stress is Valuable
Stress is a part of all of our lives. Key stress researcher, endocrinologist Hans Selye studies stress at the cellular level. He said, “Stress is fundamental to life because it motivates action and behavior.” In order for the brain and the body to change at the cellular level it must have stress to experience change. There are two types of stress: Eustress (EU- Greek for good) and Distress which is bad stress. Eustress is the stress that comes when we ride rollercoasters, or the first day of practice, or the excitement we feel for a new adventure, challenge or experience.

Eustress is good because it heightens our abilities causing us to perform better, to see with great clarity, to be stronger under pressure, increases brain function, boosts alertness and creates greater energy. The body and brain under eustress is where maximum learning and growth occur. Athletes, musicians, students need to have consistent episodes in eustress in order to advance brain and body development.

The stress of testing is a good example of the power of stress to improve your brain. A seminal study on the 10 top study habits showed that 6 of the favorite ways students like to study (highlighting, re-reading material, listening to material on tape, reading through notes, etc..) are all very soothing and easy study methods with limited stress and all are proven to be virtually worthless and a poor use of study time. The best way to study is testing. Testing increases the brain’s stress level causing it to more alert and retain more information. Students who used quizzing and testing with immediate feedback to study for tests scored consistently higher on actual tests and had longer term memory retention.

The same information is found in physical advancement. Athletes who incorporated eustress in their training experienced faster advancement in goals, conditioning and athletic success.

However without recovery, eustress will devolve into distress.

About NBC Basketball
NBC Basketball Camps are designed to improve the whole person physically, mentally and spiritually. NBC stands for Nothing Beats Commitment and the belief that our daily habits reveal our future self. Improve basketball and life skills through intentional practice and mentoring. NBC Basketball offers team camps, shooting camps, complete player camps, academies, clinics and travel teams. For more information about NBC Basketball visit www.nbccamps.com.

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