Professional athletes have what some might call a perfect life– the ability to play a game that they love and make money from doing so.
While this is true, the lives of professional athletes are not all sunshine and rainbows, especially not when they retire from the sport that has dictated much of their lives.
Like any other major life transitions, most major sports stars find themselves adrift and lost in their lives when no longer guided by their careers.
A recent Forbes article details this mental health discussion, focusing specifically on male athletes and their experiences.
“U.K. broadcaster, BT Sport premiered After The Roar on September 9th 2022, looking at the mental health struggles former elite sportsmen face after they retire. Numerous professional athletes have described post-retirement living as a drastic difference to their playing careers.
The documentary is fronted by former Leinster, Ireland and Lions rugby captain, Brian O’Driscoll, where he reflects on his 15-year playing career as well as other players. They look at the health challenges posed after competing, as well as the likely reduction in earnings, attention, and competitive pressure.
“When I retired, I was confronted with one of the most testing challenges I’d ever faced: life after sport,” O’Driscoll said.
Craig Doyle said: “I have spent the last two decades working next to some of the world’s top sportsmen and have seen how, despite their successes, their mental health can be as fragile as anyone else’s. I wanted to explore this issue in a documentary and to see an idea becoming this powerful and insightful BT Sport Film is truly rewarding.”
Read the rest of this article here.
Films like the one the article describes shed an important light on a hidden issue: the mental health challenges of our most prolific athletes.
While this documentary deals with the challenges of these athletes after their career has ended, this discussion should be prevalent throughout their entire careers.
Like business, the sports industry is all about preparedness and prevention, and this is especially true regarding mental health and related issues.
Like the health of these athletes, the health and well-being of your employees is extremely important.
When mental health issues are addressed, athletes perform better. The same principle applies to business and respective employee performance.
Many athletes cite not having found a good work/life balance during their careers, thus sending them into a tailspin when their sports endeavors end.
Be mindful of your employees and their own work/life balance, and be sure to check in on them often.
Balance is crucial in sports and even more important in the business world.
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