Mental and psychosocial state in professional football
Mental and psychosocial state in professional football30 مايو 2013م
الكاتب : Yehia Gad .
عدد القراءة : 328 .
In his new blog, Dr. Vincent Gouttebarge discusses mental health conditions in football and how they are related to injury occurrence.
Dr. Vincent Gouttebarge, PhD:
During their career, professional football players are exposed to long periods of high energical and physical load, leading now and then to injuries of the musculoskeletal system (muscles, bones, ligaments). Recently, as professional football aims to achieve not only sporting success but also business and financial profits, organisational and environmental pressure on professional players has been growing. In addition, players have been exponentially in the spotlight of public interest, with their moves on and off the field being closely examined and analysed by the media.
Because of the combination of all these potential sources of pressure, professional football players are likely to suffer during their career from mental and psychosocial health problems. Even in the long term after their career, former players might encounter mental and psychosocial health problems, especially the ones who did not quit football voluntarily or those who did not adequately prepare for their post-sport life. With regard to the aforementioned, it appears rather strange that hardly any scientific studies about the mental and psychosocial state of current and former professional football players have been carried out.
Mental health conditions and injury occurrence
On the other side, professional players are likely to experience adverse emotional and psychological reactions upon being injured (Evans 2012). For instance, unhappiness, feelings of isolation (no group training sessions any more), frustration, anger and/or appetite and sleep disturbance might occur as a consequence of severe injuries. Even more, the rehabilitation of such severe injuries might be affected by adverse emotional responses such as loss of identity, fear, anxiety and loss of confidence, playing a negative role in the process of regaining playing fitness.
Mental health conditions in football
Consequently, reliable data about mental health problems during a footballer's career is lacking. Even more, despite well-known examples with tragic consequences, the mental and psychosocial problems that occur after retirement from professional football have been the subject of even less study among large groups of former professional football players. The occurrence of adverse mental and psychosocial problems among both current and former professional football players is currently having my attention, ongoing study being is conducted in collaboration .with the FIFPro and its related national players’ associations
Lately, the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) and the French National Union of Professional Footballers (UNFP) have introduced a mental health service open to any current and former players who are experiencing mental health issues. Therefore, a network of qualified counsellors has been recruited, which includes a team of former players who have overcome mental health issues and addiction in the past. The service offers counselling courses to deal with mental conditions such as stress, anxiety, behavioural problems and even adverse addictions.
Because of an increasing awareness of the relevance of mental and psychosocial issues in professional football, it appears most desirable that scientific studies related to the topic are conducted, both in current and former players. With this knowledge, a thorough information and counselling system based on proper treatment could be developed and implemented in order to protect and promote the sustainable health of current and former professional football players.
Mental health conditions in other professional athletes
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