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COVID-19: Battling mental health a key issue for sportspersons during lockdown

Sports Lounge Staff



Mental Health

New Delhi: Coronavirus has brought most of the world to a standstill with all sporting activities forced to be stopped.

The Tokyo Olympics, scheduled to be held in July-august in 2020 was postponed by a year.

With no training and very little to do as part of their preparations, many believe idling away at home could lead to psychological problems for sportspersons.

Particularly, athletes associated with swimming, wrestling, weightlifting, boxing, sprinting and many more could be affected by inactivity caused due to COVID-19.

The challenge during the lockdown period is how to deal mentally with the absence of action.  According to experts, lockdown can be defined as minimal physical movement with maximal mental output.

Health experts also showcased their concerned about that prolonged isolation could take a big mental toll on people whose livelihoods and self-esteem are connected to lockdown.

Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps has won 82 medals in major international long course competition, of which 65 were gold, 14 silver, and 3 bronze.

Swimming legend Michael Phelps, who had battled anxiety and depression, voiced concern that the stress of the delay could take a toll on the mental health of athletes.

London 2012 gold medallist Chad le Clos is trying to make the best of the situation by tethering himself to a bungee cord as he swims in his small backyard pool in Cape Town.

“It is not ideal, but you have to be creative given the limitations you have,” the South African said.

Indian cricketers feel the pinch too

Cricketers are no different as they wait for normalcy to return in everyday life.

Maninder Singh, Manoj Tiwary and Irfan Pathan said India’s “family structure helps us cope with unprecedented crisis” while Deep Dasgupta had a slightly contrary view as he felt that it would be “interesting test of familiar relationships”.

Former India all-rounder Pathan said: “If you look at England, Australia, if you don’t have jobs, the government takes care and gives you financial support till you again become self sufficient. It’s a great thing. You have very little to worry. In India, we have to earn it the hard way. We learn hardships from early age.”

Mental health issues of sports-persons is now a serious topic and recently Australia coach Justin Langer advocated the need to keep a tab on the younger lot as to how they are coping up with trying times.

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