Pressure and stress in the world of upper level athletics is very real.
We have a great discussion going on in the forums right now about upper level athlete stress and the pressures of media and social media.
Check out the following excellent post from Ken1978…
I knew this argument would surface. Of course there is inherent and unavoidable pressure from being in a top position in sports. The question is, how much additional and unneeded pressure is being heaped on these athletes by intrusive media that only care about their story, could we rein it in through some sort of new anti-harassment laws, and separately, what can we do to ensure athletes have all of the support they need to cope. I see people on Twitter taking the position that she has to just "man up" and deal with things herself. I understand that position, but in the end I think it's not only morally wrong but also logically wrong. Even if someone is heartless and doesn't care about her as a person, acting like she's disposable. Where's the next Simone in line to take her place? Oh, there isn't a next Simone in line. There's literally no one at her level. So the U.S. still lost out on gold medals because we didn't take care of our athletes properly. Anyway, some ideas I had: - legally barring media from interacting with them except for certain times and days of the week? - founding an organization dedicated to athlete outreach, which could provide, among other things: access to trained counselors familiar with high-level sports issues, facilitating communication and mutual support between athletes facing similar problems, and maybe connection with fans/volunteers who just want to offer consistent support and encouragement. - making personal counseling for athletes a standard, regular thing for all athletes beyond a certain level. In this way, removing some of the stigma against counseling. Even something like a scheduled monthly 15 minute session, to open the door to it, and find out which athletes may need more support. Especially after the abuse so many have faced. Many people are too embarrassed to seek out counseling, or may not even realize they need it.
Join in the discussion below and let us know what you think about everything that is going on in gymnastics right now.