Do Sports People Need Better Access To Counselling?
One rugby player has been speaking about his battle with a serious recurring knee injury, and suggested that counselling should be offered to all players suffering with a similar problem and facing time out from their sport.
In an interview with the Guardian Dave Attwood, Bath second row who’s currently on loan at Toulon, spoke openly about his feelings when he was struggling to return to match fitness after suffering an injury at an England training camp.
He explained that although you’re still involved with your club on a day-to-day level during your recovery, you have a “lack of purpose” because your job is to play rugby and you’re not able to take part in matches.
Attwood revealed that he’s experienced a number of setbacks in his recovery, which has had a negative impact on his mental state.
“It has been exhausting emotionally to feel like you’re almost there and then have another step back. There’s a real frustration and it is emotionally very tough to negotiate,” he stated.
He believes that all players with long-term injuries should have to attend a compulsory counselling session. By making it mandatory, it would take the pressure off and remove the stigma of seeking help with the emotional side of an injury, he explained.
It’s not only rugby players who could potentially benefit from this approach, with many other professional sports people facing similar mental battles when returning from injury.
Last year Dr Misia Gervis, a sports psychologist who works with QPR football club, told the Guardian that the majority of Premier League footballers who are battling long-term injury don’t receive any psychological support, but that they could greatly benefit given that the majority admit to feeling isolated and anxious when they’re out injured for an extended period.
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