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With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling 18:39 - Jul 27 with 1062 viewsGuthrum

out of competition at the Olympics citing mental health issues, is it the case that elite sports stars are nowadays being pushed so hard for perfection that it is more than the human mind and body can cope with? Especially when the frequency and intensity of not only competition, but also media scrutiny is taken into account. With an added layer of Covid bubbles and the restriction upon attendance by family and friends (their emotional support frameworks).

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With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling on 18:44 - Jul 27 with 1019 viewsDarth_Koont

I’m not really sure full-time, professional sport is that good for a lot of people mentally. I imagine it’s very isolating for many, especially with the time, effort and inward focus often required.
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With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling on 18:48 - Jul 27 with 1000 viewsMattinLondon

No.
Mental strength tends to go hand-in-hand with elite sportspeople who have consistency been at the top of their field for years.

If you’re not mentally strong enough to face such challenges then you’re simply not cut out to be at the top for years. Covid is an extra burden granted - but not all are complaining and most will make this hurdle not get in the way.

I’m not belittling mental well-being but some either have it or not.
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With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling on 18:49 - Jul 27 with 992 viewsBasuco

Way back in the 70's I spoke with a professional cyclist about this, he was saying that life as a professional is very tough mentally, when things are going well it is great, but when the wins dry up and you have nothing to think about is how you can get back to form, and if it does not happen it is very very hard. He ended up having a mental breakdown. I guess this applies with many sports and as virtually all Olympians are now full time sports men and women, the mental pressure for continued success must be huge. That is without a footballer going from first team regular to the "bomb squad".
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With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling on 19:18 - Jul 27 with 923 viewsmikeybloo88

Seems a pretty ready excuse for anyone who doesn't fancy it these days ... Now maybe people suffered in silence more in the past, or maybe there was generally more grit naturally in people, or maybe pressures from social media are much worse, self inflicted though much of that may be.. Perhaps those that get praised as great or elite just aren't...
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With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling on 19:26 - Jul 27 with 914 viewshomer_123

I'm not convinced the pressure for perfection is any greater than it has been for elite athletes.

I would suggest that 'added' pressure from social media will have a more significant bearing on their mental health though, which I suspect is what you are alluding to?
[Post edited 27 Jul 19:51]

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With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling on 19:28 - Jul 27 with 901 viewsBlueBadger

With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling on 19:18 - Jul 27 by mikeybloo88

Seems a pretty ready excuse for anyone who doesn't fancy it these days ... Now maybe people suffered in silence more in the past, or maybe there was generally more grit naturally in people, or maybe pressures from social media are much worse, self inflicted though much of that may be.. Perhaps those that get praised as great or elite just aren't...


Or you know, people are a lot more willing to look after themselves and recognise that the endless cycle of pressure and ridiculous training regimes aren't really worth it?

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With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling on 19:32 - Jul 27 with 888 viewsKeno

With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling on 19:26 - Jul 27 by homer_123

I'm not convinced the pressure for perfection is any greater than it has been for elite athletes.

I would suggest that 'added' pressure from social media will have a more significant bearing on their mental health though, which I suspect is what you are alluding to?
[Post edited 27 Jul 19:51]


I think the added pressures of media and social media play a big part in this

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With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling on 19:36 - Jul 27 with 878 viewsMattinLondon

With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling on 19:28 - Jul 27 by BlueBadger

Or you know, people are a lot more willing to look after themselves and recognise that the endless cycle of pressure and ridiculous training regimes aren't really worth it?


It’s worth it for those who want to excel in their profession and want to win medals and awards.

If Ronaldo or Messi (for example) didn’t think it was worth it then they would have packed it in years ago or be playing at a level far below to where they still are.
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With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling on 19:48 - Jul 27 with 848 viewshomer_123

With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling on 19:32 - Jul 27 by Keno

I think the added pressures of media and social media play a big part in this


Yep, although I would say that it now 'easier' for those elite/ professional sportsmen and women to stop and take stock of mental health - whilst there does still appear to have stigma attached to it - it's far less so now.

And, frankly, rightly so - if they are struggling, then it really shouldn't be an issue for them to stop and step back and/ or talk about it etc.

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With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling on 09:34 - Jul 28 with 745 viewsGuthrum

With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling on 19:26 - Jul 27 by homer_123

I'm not convinced the pressure for perfection is any greater than it has been for elite athletes.

I would suggest that 'added' pressure from social media will have a more significant bearing on their mental health though, which I suspect is what you are alluding to?
[Post edited 27 Jul 19:51]


Indeed. The constant scrutiny, no privacy, no time to switch off. You can't even go out and have a few beers with your mates without it ending up in the press.

Compared with a few decades ago, there is much more intensity of competition and preparation, flying all over the world to take part in the events necessary to remain at the top. Indeed, the professional era itself is not all that old.

Gymnasts, in particular, start extremely young, aged 4 or 5. Like many footballers, they give up their entire childhood to the sport and in their case, haven't even got a team to form friendships with. They miss out on a lot of the things which are important for social and mental development.

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With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling on 09:36 - Jul 28 with 732 viewsKeno

With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling on 19:48 - Jul 27 by homer_123

Yep, although I would say that it now 'easier' for those elite/ professional sportsmen and women to stop and take stock of mental health - whilst there does still appear to have stigma attached to it - it's far less so now.

And, frankly, rightly so - if they are struggling, then it really shouldn't be an issue for them to stop and step back and/ or talk about it etc.


totally agree with that Homey

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With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling on 09:56 - Jul 28 with 683 viewsitfcjoe

With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling on 09:34 - Jul 28 by Guthrum

Indeed. The constant scrutiny, no privacy, no time to switch off. You can't even go out and have a few beers with your mates without it ending up in the press.

Compared with a few decades ago, there is much more intensity of competition and preparation, flying all over the world to take part in the events necessary to remain at the top. Indeed, the professional era itself is not all that old.

Gymnasts, in particular, start extremely young, aged 4 or 5. Like many footballers, they give up their entire childhood to the sport and in their case, haven't even got a team to form friendships with. They miss out on a lot of the things which are important for social and mental development.



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With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling on 10:04 - Jul 28 with 649 viewsRGH93

With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling on 18:48 - Jul 27 by MattinLondon

No.
Mental strength tends to go hand-in-hand with elite sportspeople who have consistency been at the top of their field for years.

If you’re not mentally strong enough to face such challenges then you’re simply not cut out to be at the top for years. Covid is an extra burden granted - but not all are complaining and most will make this hurdle not get in the way.

I’m not belittling mental well-being but some either have it or not.


Worth remembering that in the case of the Olympics you are also talking about 15-16 year old girls that have given up much of a 'normal' childhood to get to that point. I'd imagine for some sports, thinking about gymnastics here particularly, where you have 1 shot at demonstrating 4 years of dedication to your sport, this is effectively a spot kick in a penalty shoot out for the WC final. Throw in social media pressure and that's a lot for anyone - never mind a child.
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With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling on 10:07 - Jul 28 with 631 viewsChrisd


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With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling on 10:25 - Jul 28 with 572 viewsJakeITFC

My personal feeling is that we expect too much from sports people outside of playing the sport in which they are good at. Why does Naomi Osaka have to talk to the press before or after matches? Why does a sports star have to be a mouthpiece for issues outside of the court?

Look at the detail in which the words said by players/managers/staff of Ipswich Town are analysed and dismantled on here, and we are talking about ultimately pointless interviews or conferences that probably a few hundred people care about. Imagine the pressure of being and Osaka or Simone Biles and having every action you do watched, analysed and criticised by people who aren't fit to even judge why they are good at what they do, let alone be better than them at it.
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With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling on 10:28 - Jul 28 with 554 viewsRadlett_blue

With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling on 10:04 - Jul 28 by RGH93

Worth remembering that in the case of the Olympics you are also talking about 15-16 year old girls that have given up much of a 'normal' childhood to get to that point. I'd imagine for some sports, thinking about gymnastics here particularly, where you have 1 shot at demonstrating 4 years of dedication to your sport, this is effectively a spot kick in a penalty shoot out for the WC final. Throw in social media pressure and that's a lot for anyone - never mind a child.


Plus a huge army of people who have devoted as much of their lives to trying to make it in sport, but didn't quite succeed.
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With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling on 10:29 - Jul 28 with 542 viewsMattinLondon

With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling on 10:04 - Jul 28 by RGH93

Worth remembering that in the case of the Olympics you are also talking about 15-16 year old girls that have given up much of a 'normal' childhood to get to that point. I'd imagine for some sports, thinking about gymnastics here particularly, where you have 1 shot at demonstrating 4 years of dedication to your sport, this is effectively a spot kick in a penalty shoot out for the WC final. Throw in social media pressure and that's a lot for anyone - never mind a child.


I totally failed to take that point on board. Children should be protected from some of the harsher realities of professional sport.

But there comes a point when the child becomes an adult and that shielding disappears.
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With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling on 10:43 - Jul 28 with 496 viewsCBBlue

With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling on 18:48 - Jul 27 by MattinLondon

No.
Mental strength tends to go hand-in-hand with elite sportspeople who have consistency been at the top of their field for years.

If you’re not mentally strong enough to face such challenges then you’re simply not cut out to be at the top for years. Covid is an extra burden granted - but not all are complaining and most will make this hurdle not get in the way.

I’m not belittling mental well-being but some either have it or not.


But Simone Biles has been at the top of her profession for years - and still is. I've seen posts on twitter about her bottling it or pulling out because she didn't fancy it after scoring lower than usual on her first piece but that's rubbish.

She's so good even a below par performance would still see her scoring the highest but it's not about that, apparently she got the twisties (look it up) and that can be so dangerous. If you make a mistake because you're not feeling 100% mentally while playing football you may get slated or cost your team the win if you do it while performing triple twisting double somersault you potentially break your neck.

She's been under so much pressure being the GOAT and the face of the games plus don't forget what else she's gone through in the past - she's the only victim of the Larry Nessar abuse still competing at top level.

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With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling on 10:57 - Jul 28 with 453 viewsBloomBlue

I've always felt we as spectators demand perfection in our sports people but not in ourselves. We seem to think people in sports can be 100% every time, Holy last night makes mistakes and immediately people want him sold, thinking we can buy another GK who will never make a mistake, humans always make mistakes. When I worked if I could sack anyone who made a simple mistake I would have sacked everyone I ever worked with, I too would have been sacked humans make mistakes.
The problem is while we use that expression correctly about ourselves 'we all make mistakes' we ignore it when it comes to people in sports.
Social media now gives an outlet to those feelings much more than 30-40 years ago when it was just the press. The pressure now is much greater and that will have am impact on people's minds

I always talk about a Thursday afternoon in the Magpie Combs Ford when a Beattie, Mariner, Brazil were enjoying a liquid lunch, the Beat could hardly walk out of the pub but they won the game on the Sat. If that happened now there would be pictures on Twitter etc within seconds of them swaying out of the pub. I'm not saying it was correct from a sports perspective but these days every simple thing they do is judged and they are human, no different to any human. We demand perfection from others but not from ourselves
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With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling on 11:04 - Jul 28 with 422 viewsGuthrum

With Osaka missing Wimbledon and now the US gymnast pulling on 10:57 - Jul 28 by BloomBlue

I've always felt we as spectators demand perfection in our sports people but not in ourselves. We seem to think people in sports can be 100% every time, Holy last night makes mistakes and immediately people want him sold, thinking we can buy another GK who will never make a mistake, humans always make mistakes. When I worked if I could sack anyone who made a simple mistake I would have sacked everyone I ever worked with, I too would have been sacked humans make mistakes.
The problem is while we use that expression correctly about ourselves 'we all make mistakes' we ignore it when it comes to people in sports.
Social media now gives an outlet to those feelings much more than 30-40 years ago when it was just the press. The pressure now is much greater and that will have am impact on people's minds

I always talk about a Thursday afternoon in the Magpie Combs Ford when a Beattie, Mariner, Brazil were enjoying a liquid lunch, the Beat could hardly walk out of the pub but they won the game on the Sat. If that happened now there would be pictures on Twitter etc within seconds of them swaying out of the pub. I'm not saying it was correct from a sports perspective but these days every simple thing they do is judged and they are human, no different to any human. We demand perfection from others but not from ourselves


And, indeed, sportspeople who did something like that would be sacked by their coaches. There is far more concentration upon robot-like sticking to intensive training regimes, everything they eat, everything they drink is monitored to the nth degree. There isn't the time or freedom to let off steam like normal people.

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