Neymar will play his last World Cup in Qatar in 2022. This, however, highlights the Brazilian’s mental difficulties in accepting the burden of a professional football career, A Fortiodi Like his. An admission that raises the question of the space given to issues related to players ’mental health and their medical monitoring.
It is not culturally acceptable for an athlete to express his or her difficulties. ” Anthony Mette, Psychiatrist
According to several FIFPRO studies since 2013, symptoms related to stress and anxiety are very common among professional footballers. “I saw players who could no longer travel or touch a ball, and it turned out to be hell for them.” , Says Anthony Mette, psychiatrist and author of the book A mind to win. “Concerns about the well-being and mental health of athletes are not currently being considered and there is a refusal or refusal on their part to express it., Points to someone who comes individually with many top athletes in different fields. It is not culturally acceptable for an athlete to express his or her difficulties. ”
Talk about moving forward
Liz Anhori CKD, a sports psychologist at Incep, believes that players have every interest in making progress. “With Neymar, we can be a better player in our game and at the same time ask questions. Truth be told, it’s necessary., She says. When Teddy Rainer talked about his psychology, it helped a lot to insult the problem by showing that you can be a better athlete when you go to see a psychologist. More often we can go to a contractor or psychiatrist because there is a problem, but we still need to be better. ” There is still a barrier in the world of men’s football in particular. “We are trying to break the ban on mental disorders. Last season we launched a toolkit that should be used by national unions to provide players with the information they need., Details Prof. Vincent Gouttebarge, Head of Medical Services, FIFPRO. If we do not break the barrier, players will not hesitate to talk about their problems. ”
After all, reluctance to trust players who fade over time. Gouttebarge: “It’s much less pronounced than it was five or ten years ago. A key challenge is to get key stakeholders to trust them when needed. “I think it’s the fault of players who do not take their mental health seriously and invest in them. Some players are used to earning everything at the club level, so it’s hard for them to spend money and invest in their personal health. However, I think psychological support work is often done outside the club.” , Even starting Anthony Mette, who said following him into clubs was not enough.
“Things are moving in clubs, but usually the priority is to add another right-back or another left-wing person rather than take care of the medical staff.” Professor Vincent Gouttebarge, Medical Manager at FIFPRO
With very small steps
According to Anthony Mette, while clubs are at the forefront of medicine in many areas, mental health is still underdeveloped. “From a psychological point of view, we’re not up to what we can do. The German federation offers many more things in preventive and professional monitoring at training centers. For example, some rugby clubs have set up almost daily tests to assess players’ sleep quality, their mood, and so on.” Psychological pursuit, already anchored in other fields, saddens the researcher: “Right now, a lot of companies offer a lot of care, health prevention, sleep, yoga, diet. Sports clubs are not on this trend yet, it can really be harmful.”
Delay in accepting responsibility to be filled little by little. “When a player comes to talk about his or her mental health problems, we need to have the necessary staff to deal with and support them., Says Vincent Gouttebarge. Things move in clubs, but usually the priority is to appoint another right-back or another left-wing person rather than take care of the medical staff. ” Liz Anhori Shigedi, for her part, is optimistic about the process. “It’s more and more taken into account. There are clubs within their psychiatrists, their psychologists, so it’s developing in a lot of clubs, it’s very important.” Beyond medicine, let’s not forget that veterans ’well-being can transcend its relationships with other employees. “The relationship with the coach can be very important. Sometimes, it helps build a connection and is a positive support to allow players to regain confidence.”
Focus on the youth
Since FIFPRO, Vincent Gouttebarge has been campaigning A minima To implement the annual assessment: “Athletes are evaluated at the beginning of each season, at the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular levels … The IOC has developed a tool to assess the mental health of elite athletes. We urge you to use it.” An important awareness demonstrated by the establishment of a psychology unit within the UNFP and a collective awareness of listening to veterans. But within the training centers, through the attitude towards future players.
“Mental preparation is not something you do because you are not functioning well. I often associate it with physical preparation: you prepare your muscles, you prepare your mind.” Liz Anhori CKD, Psychologist at Incep
“Our national unions go to all the professional clubs and they also have access to training centers to educate players in many areas, with emphasis now being on psychology, including health., Vincent Gouttebarge continues. Our constant focus is on awareness and education. ” A long-term task. “At training centers, we’re trying to let future players know that mind preparation and psychology are like physical preparation. It’s part of your own preparation. It’s not something you do because you’ve not doing it. You doPointer Liz Anhori Island. The more barriers we make with young people, especially in training centers, the more players will feel justified in realizing these doubts, which will not lose their strength. For me it is important not to be banned in the future. ” And that mental health can take full place in a high-performance sport.
By Tom Binet
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