One of the things that make sports so demanding is the way it immediately connects the sportsperson’s skills and performance to the results and it all happening before an audience (unlike many other fields)
Another is the fact that the off-field life for sportspersons continue as usual and no matter what is happening the sportspersons are expected to not only carry on but to carry out their objective of excellent performance
So what happens when Sports Persons Are Mourning?
This is exactly the question that Leicester City club answered for us recently https://edition.cnn.com/2018/11/03/football/leicester-city-vichai-srivaddhanaprabha-first-game/index.html
The grieving process involves denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance…
The Game Goes On! So …
Denial is a no-go at least not to the point where all the reminders of what happened could be avoided…and that’s part of the harsh reality of sports … sportspersons do not have the luxury of avoiding what is happening on the field generally and its the same here … the Leicester City team whether they could believe it or not…would have been moved along the grieving process to face their anger …
Anger, Aggression and Sports
The good thing here is that as mentioned early sports is about using that energy/arousal/adrenaline to give the best possible performance…and the good thing for the Leicester City team in their time of mourning is that that anger could have been redirected to create a connection with their deceased owner and so even begin in a way a celebration of his life and so help move the team along to acceptance
No change for bargains
In sports, there is no bargaining without performance. And it would have been the same for this team here, they had no chance to bargain and plea their cause…”please save our beloved club owner’ … it was about performing even in his memory
Sporting as an anti-depressant
Sometimes persons going through the mourning process are misdiagnosed as clinically depressed if the psychologist is unaware of the loss. Sports literally changes our body chemistry by releasing these feel-good hormones. So even if the players have their moments of ‘longing for the past’ (a part of depression) they would not have been able to get stuck there.
Sports is Universal
Groups are powerful. And so too group therapy is powerful, all because the persons realize they are not alone and other persons have felt this and are going through it too. So even playing that game after the loss would have been a sort of group therapy for the team.
Virtue in Sports
Dealing with a loss is a part of life and living. It can happen in any field. The great thing is there are lots of virtue in sports that can help ease the pain and lead o healing, recovery, and celebration of the life lived.
Do look forward to the legacy being carried on in Leicester City https://www.theguardian.com/football/leicestercity
@and @t KarryOn we support sportspersons to carryon @ https://karryon.privacemail.com/