Six Ways to Deal with Pain

Coach Grant Holicky discusses six ways by which all athletes can forge a better relationship with pain as a part of sport.

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What is pain? Can we control how we perceive it?

Every athlete has some kind of relationship with pain. Of course, that relationship varies based on the derived satisfaction the athlete gets from the experience.

In this workshop, Coach Grant Holicky discusses pain in the greater context of sport, using a foundational study to analyze six ways in which all athletes can deal with pain, including goal-setting, self-talk, and imagery. He’ll also address how our mind and body work as a team, how pain can be seen in a positive light and as part of our identity, and, lastly, how control lessens our perception of pain.

The discussion also includes an analysis of motivation—the purpose behind the pain that comes with being an athlete—and how goal-setting and goal attainment are so critical for having a healthy relationship with our sport of choice.


Jeffrey L. Kress and Traci Statler. 2007. “A Naturalistic Investigation of Former Olympic Cyclists’ Cognitive Strategies for Coping With Exertion Pain During Performance.” Journal of Sport Behavior, Vol. 30. No. 4

Video Transcript

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