Athletes’ mental health, a growing issue for mediotempo

one year later Problems gymnastics star Simone Biles in J’sTokyo Olympics 2020until you stop in full competition on Maintain your physical and mental healthThe Psychological difficulties for athletes High level is increasingly taken into account.

Recently, the former French football player Thierry Henrythe world champion in 1998, spoke in the newspaper’s pages to liberate on me How was the problem presented at the time? Player:

Crying was impossible. You can’t show your weaknesses. He said to me: Thierry don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry. I happened to cry alone, but I fought so as not to drown. “Now I cry,” said Henry, who after his retirement remained associated with football as a coach and TV commentator.

for Greg Decamps, Researcher in sports psychology at Purdue University, the difficulties in talking about the topic are explained by the fact that “The sports environment remains a place where excellence, strength and masculinity are worshipedand where every sign of weakness will be completely banned.”

Added to this is that In disciplines such as football, ‘With massive financial repercussions’, except for ‘physical injuries’ can not be hiddenDecamps says for France Press agency.

Warning: stress points

Despite these obstacles, consideration of the psychological dimension is progressing step by step. In 2021, in addition to Simon Biles caseinfluenced tennis player Naomi Osaka at Roland Garros.

The Japanese player explained that Have gone through “long periods of depression” bouts of “social anxiety”; He withdrew from the French championship under pressure, opting not to be exposed to the media at the time.

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in United Statewhich included the Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) in February a Six months mental health leave in your collective agreement.

Girls who have ruptured the ACL continue to do so Receiving salary even if they are far from the field of play for months. Why treat psychological suffering differently? Curry Rocarothe player who Had a ‘very bad time’ And that he pressed for recognition of this type of victim.

Behind the victories there is a habit in sports great sacrifices This affects everyone to a greater or lesser degree.

“High-level athletes are more exposed to sources of intense stress”, Greg Decamps explains. He analyzes that an environment of intense competition can “weaken” these athletes, although it can also teach them to “develop abilities to adapt to stressful environments.”

Another destabilizing aspect for many in recent years is social networks. for Karen Moisha sports psychologist in Sweden, could have a “stress” component; Lando Norrisa Formula 1 driver, recently talked about The effect of many hate messages on him and his relatives.

Like an ankle injury

Former French football player Vincent Gutebarg Leading a working group around Mental health at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) He is the Head of Medical Services for FIFPro (Federation of Professional Footballers). As an expert in both areas, he advocates treating a psychological difficulty “such as an ankle injury.”

“Everyone has to be convinced that an ankle injury is the same as a mental injury.He explains that this is not the end of the world. In his view, the statements of athletes who openly share their problems “play a role in breaking the taboo that still exists on the subject.”

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“According to the scientific data we collected, between 20 and 35 percent of high-profile athletes have negative feelings or thoughts related to depression or anxiety, terrible eating behavior problems, or even sleep,” he explains. Goteborg.

“The taboos are not specific to sports; Mental health is also a cultural issue. There are countries where things move more than others. The United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Australia are at the top,” Guttebarg adds.

With information from Deborah Claude

Amber Cross

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