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Mental health in elite sport

  • January 29, 2021

Just like in 'normal' society, mental complaints are a real problem among elite athletes. They too can run into a mental wall. Following Tom Dumoulin's decision to quit temporarily with cycling,  Paul Wylleman sheds his light on the importance of avoiding a tunnel vision as an elite athlete In this article ( pdf fileIt's sort of a midlifecrisis, but for elite athletes (2.51 MB); in Dutch). 


"Especially when you start your elite sporting career at an early age, you can develop a tunnel vision, while you can learn about how to reflect and communicate about choices." Nico van Yperen agrees, but warns there should be adequate support for elite athletes in doing so (see here for more information on supporting athletes in different levels of their development throughout their elite sporting career). "For example, Dumoulin indicates that he wants to do well for everyone, for his team teammates, his family and his fans. But how others think about you is exactly a factor that you have no influence on. Which is asking for trouble. The art of life is to release that and focus on the things you can change yourself. "