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Mental Health and Sport

Mental Health and Sport

For many sports fans, they will have watched BBC’s Sportsperson of the Year awards last night. Fans will have noted that the heavy weight boxer Tyson Fury made a statement about how sportspeople should be more open about mental health issues. Indeed, he has encouraged others in sport to be more open about mental health issues. 

This of course is true. Sportspeople are often seen as super beings, they dedicate everything to their craft and when they win they win big. When they don’t they can experience despair and problems like anyone else. In reality, there are mental health challenges even when they succeed. The additional pressure to be able to preform time after time can be too much for some to handle. 

Some athletes at the top of their sport hire sports psychologists and even psychotherapists to help them with the mental side of competition. This is something that should be far more available to competitors. The idea that sport is just a physical activity is naive. These mental health professionals can not only help with performance, but also help these athletes to keep balanced. Athletes like Tyson Fury should be praised for bringing the issue of mental health out of the shadows and into the light. 

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