These are not pleasant times for anyone and (top) athletes do not escape the corona crisis either. Studies and surveys show that footballers are increasingly struggling with feelings of depression, but doubts and fear also reign in other disciplines. Jef Brouwers and Eline Berings have also determined this themselves.
“The figures about depressed feelings keep increasing, in the wrong direction,” sports psychologist Jef Brouwers told Radio 1.
“Almost everyone – the ordinary citizen, the top athlete and the amateur athlete – lives in obscurity and a person cannot deal with that.”
“Competition is essential for an athlete and that keeps dropping out. It accumulates. There is no insight when it will be finished.”
“If you wait for the advice of the Security Council and there is no mention of sport, it is particularly difficult for top athletes who are waiting for clarity.”
“I have conversations with athletes I work with all day and sometimes with athletes I have never worked with,” says the sports psychologist.
What can he recommend to them? “You have to say every day: I will do this, this is my goal, so I will structure it and I have the discipline for that.”
“It is important to know what you will do every day. You shouldn’t be walking around aimlessly. Otherwise, you are a hiker who leaves without a goal and who gets tired of his own walking very quickly. Set small goals every day to avoid don’t remember what you’re doing. ”
If you wait for the advice of the Security Council and there is no mention of sport, it is particularly difficult for top athletes who are waiting for clarity.
Eline Berings: “I see a kind of fatigue”
Hurdler Eline Berings is disappointed that one goal after the other is dropped, but as a sports psychologist she is also familiar with what causes this corona crisis in the sports world.
“Our world is completely shaken up. We live in a performance culture. We are always involved in training and structure. We always know where we want and need to go.”
“But at the moment there is a big void with question marks and uncertainties. I notice myself and colleagues that there is a kind of fatigue.”
“We want to, because we are all characters. But if there is nothing you are drawn to, it is a mental challenge to keep training.”
“If you know where you can go, you can do a lot”
“I am a little worried that too little attention is paid to the psychosocial impact on people and certainly on top athletes,” Berings continues.
The approach in this crisis may be individual. “Talk to colleagues, friends and psychologists. They are there for us and know what needs to be done.”
“But I also appeal to the government to make decisions, so that we know where we stand. We are in the dark. Uncertainty is much more difficult to deal with than dealing with something that has been canceled.”
“Clarity is important. And keep structuring your days. If you drop and fall out of your routine, it will be very difficult weeks. I hope that we gradually get perspective. If you know where you can go, you can do a lot . ”
I am a little worried that too little attention is being paid to the psychosocial impact on people and certainly on top athletes