Famous athletes struggle with mental health

The British and Irish Lions with the Rugby World Championships, Springbox may have lost the usual noise from fans in the seats, but it was a timely reminder of the special place in the lives of many people.

“Sport is incredibly emotional, and it gives us a sense of community and membership,” says sports psychologist Christopher van Herden. For many, sport is a tonic. Dreams provide escape from the daily pressures of flying and taking special energy courses in one vein.

It’s fun, of course, but it’s much bigger than that. It was very difficult for most people to take it, ”continued Van Herden.

There are fans who make unimaginable sacrifices to follow their teams and their favorite athletes to the ends of the earth, without supporting those who bring joy in their lives. And the Lions series has many of these superpowers that save years to see eye-catching events with like-minded fans.


  • Lions create moments of unity

Behind the spectacular 2009 Lions series, then the 2019 Rugby World Cup victory over Wales and England as South Africa travel to Yokohama, the next Lions series will explode in Springbox.

And then the world changed.

It has been dubbed a series of unpredictable events in the face of travel insecurity, logistics, turmoil, and a pandemic. Since many international sports events have been postponed or moved to predicted areas, it was highly anticipated that the series would take place elsewhere.

But by no means. And for three weeks, with time zones and stress on the field and on the field, the series will give you the regularity and rhythm you love to play.

Finding a way

“Somehow, 2020, it was very easy to deal with,” said Van Herden. “There was no sport, so we were all in the same boat. 2021 was difficult for athletes to cope with, because some countries are ahead of others.

As the world shakes its waves, bio bubbles, protocols, and isolation have become common words. Van Herden was asked more than the athletes and their minds about the significant increase in the number of athletes involved in mental health and well-being.

“For a long time, people associated mental health with strength. Talk about rubbing salt in my wounds – d’oh! ” But especially in the last 18 months, many famous athletes have spoken publicly about their mental health, many highlighting those who have struggled in the past in silence and shame.

Tennis star Naomi Osaka, gymnast Simon Bills, swimmer Michael Phelps and cricketer Ben Stokes have made their mark on the world and are just a few of the stars who have moved away from the big world.

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  • Sports, media and mental health

“So it’s very good because they are very honest and open. These are some of the biggest names in sports, ”said Van Herden. “You can’t say that Michael Felps, the most beautiful Olympian of all time, is not mentally heavy. Simon Bills is absolutely incredible, so he really tells us how hard she feels.

The same is true of some of the most popular cricket matches in modern times. Like the 2019 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup final, he stood alone as a gladiator and won England for the first time.

Or, in the same year, ashes rehearsed at Headingley, re-writing the final rituals with the last bat Jack Lee, by lowering the winner to the English soundtrack. It is foolish to doubt his mental strength.

Stokes, however, cited mental health as one of the concerns and asked for time away from the game. “It’s okay to be unwell,” said Van Herden.


It may seem simple, but it is often overlooked in the media and on social media when famous athletes mention anxiety, mental health, or something else that is not obvious. “Performance cannot be the only indicator,” said Van Herden. Still, his ability to select races, perform complex exercises, and break records should not overshadow the mental challenges that can be tormented by some of the world’s best athletes.

Most aspiring athletes are told to “strengthen” or “suck” when it comes to mental issues, which only increases their level of anxiety. Some try to flee the scene temporarily, but the soldier ends, but the damage is done.

At the time of the outbreak, some athletes avoided visits or events that required them to be separated from their families, because the stress of that hard life was not something they wanted to go through.

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  • Monitoring the long-term results of CVD-19 in athletes

Sports are constantly evolving to protect the human body. Motor racing also seeks ways to give competitors a better chance of avoiding unavoidable accidents, and the protocol around head injuries in contact sports has been improved.

Helmets, haloes, protective pads and other equipment help reduce the risk of injury to athletes. In contrast, the focus is on mental health in a slower pace.

There is still enough education about mental health. Often, when we talk about mental health, a lot of people come to me after that and say, ‘I did something like this,’ or ‘I was so anxious.’

Online abuse

There is something that many athletes do to make their time and talents easier to deal with, and many live through them.

Now that mental health is becoming the most common topic of discussion in the sport, leading to people who are far away from the controlled sports fields – constructive discussions are taking place on how to best address these unique challenges.

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  • Increasing synovialism in SA media

The gift and curse of social media can also be part of the problem. As the global epidemic continues to force athletes to spend more time alone, they will inevitably become more connected to the imaginary communities where their brand is recovering. But for all the support and encouragement, trolling and worse and where many athletes in the world come in and grow up to be close to their fans.

Online abuse, especially after a sports injury, can quickly turn into a bad one. These are all the mines where the world’s leading athletes travel, trying to do their best at the same time.

Fans’ response

Primarily, the sport is optimistic. It is a common shot of honor and joy, full of joy, narrative, and balanced joy, with skill and patience. It changes lives, takes men and women into unimaginable worlds as they grow up.

This is the top of the coin. At the bottom, however, is the damage that can be done when the sport ends well. Athletes are left to feel sorry for the losers, but they are also forced to find a messenger.

In normal times, a lot of that anger is released in the stadium. Watch the English Premier League match with a special focus on the crowd – young and old kicking every ball; A deceitful moment, he destroyed the next one.

The source of these feelings – and thus their target of joy or anger – is on the field trying their best. Until Sunderland dies This is a Netflix documentary series showing the suffering of these types of archaeologists. It is an attractive window in the world of a club that strives for survival.

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  • Technology ensures that sports fans do not walk alone

The club from the north-east of England are on the brink of despair, having fallen to third place in the Premier League, the Champions League and English football. And those fans gather every day of the game, praying and enjoying the change. It’s the only soap opera in real life.

Springbox and the Lions have played their own series of episodes of Machiavelli controversy, weekly conspiracy and constant physical sincerity. There were no green or red people at Cape Town Stadium, but there were many tribes in the distance.

That is an unstoppable sport. It is a common practice that dictates the beatings of communities that desperately want hope — and often a way of coping.

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