International footballer David Cotterill spent years hiding his depression – and it eventually ended his successful career much too early. Clubs and sporting bodies say help is available. But when attitudes in football are reactive, instead of proactive, that help always seems to come too late. And mental health issues are still a big taboo…
Ex-England cricketer Mark Ramprakash had an excellent career, scoring over 100 first-class centuries and moving on to TV appearances and coaching at the highest level. Interestingly, he attributes part of his success to a conversation he had with a mind coach – even though they only spoke for five minutes!
A recent PFA report found that one in two professional footballers suffer depression, or feel they have “lost control of their lives”, after retiring.
Is all praise good? Or can some kinds of positive feedback actually hold sportspeople back? Studies show that praising someone’s existing ability – instead of their hard work and willingness to improve – can create a “limiting” mindset, which reduces motivation to try new challenges.
Recent months have seen many reports of abuse of young sportspeople by their coaches, even at top football clubs. Support for these young people is slowly improving – helping to turn victims into survivors, so that their careers don’t have to be ruined before they begin.
Virtual reality is often associated with video games. But did you know it is also being trialled in hospitals to relieve burns victims’ pain – and could be used by sportspeople in the future?