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The sports bubble and its dangers

man playing tennis

Paula Badosa, an “almost” broken game.

“Everything you see in a match is the consequence not only of what has been done outside, but of the personality and mental state of the athlete. ” Xavi Budú

Last week I read in sports how Paula Badosa had faced not only a hard career path, but an even more difficult personal career.  

Paula Badosa has been an “almost” broken gamer.  And I say almost because she herself claims to have been “lucky”.  Most kids who risk their future in sports end up being broken toys.  Frustrated, lost and with a great negative emotional charge. 

She overcame a period of depression and anxiety over the consequences of the sports “bubble.” 

We isolate the athlete from the person, and the sport from life.

I think we still don’t understand the importance of mental training in sport. And it is not understood because we isolate the athlete from the person, and we isolate the sport from life. 

–> That’s why when a junior athlete does not reach professionalhood he ends up being a broken toy.

-> That is why when a professional athlete is injured, he ends up in depression or anxiety disorder;  unable to join“real” life.

-> That’s why athletes suffer so much emotional stress on and off the field. 

-> That is why when an athlete tries to return to the study or even take both at the same time (as happens in the US with sports scholarships); he ends up with a brutal level of mental and physical exhaustion and does not reach either of the two things (the famous Burnout). 

Quoting Xavi Budó again: “If you are passionate about a sport and you do not arrive, it seems that life ends”Because we continue to dissociate “sport” from “the world”, and “athlete” from “person”.

“Many young athletes do not manage to get out” Paula Badosa.

And that is why it is essential to continue talking about mental health and remembering that if THE PERSON does not have tools, the athlete will have them.  If your child knows how to manage your emotions on a day-to-day basis and “endures” and “endures”;  in the field you explode.

If you have not trained mindfulness in your day to day, in the field of deconcentration. 

If you haven’t worked on your values, strengths, and priorities; your health and well-being ends up depending on the results and external circumstances around you. 

Paula said in the interview “Many young athletes do not manage to get out of the situation that I left. It was very difficult to live with the expectations I had placed on myself.  I didn’t have positive emotions when I jumped on the track. just fear and anxiety.”

First the person, then the athlete

By this I do not mean that working on the sports mentality and the tactical/technical part is not important. Not at all! We are talking about a HUGE complexity where it is essential to work the person AND the athlete. 

We cannot leave any of them aside. 

The athlete, as a professional and expert in an environment MUST know the tactical and technical rules.  

The athlete, a professional sports professional, must achieve specific physical characteristics to perform at their best.  

The athlete, as a person, must integrate personal performance skills, emotional management and personal tools that allow him to grow as a person and get his best version – in this case in sport.  Regardless of the sporting situation. If you win, lose, get injured or change professions. 

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