Recognizing the importance ofESPN will highlight the stories of athletes, coaches, and other figures in sports who have had to deal with their own mental health issues. They want to share what they learned and how it affected them.
These stories cover a wide range of topics and experiences, including living through the coronavirus pandemic and dealing with depression, anxiety, and pressure in their respective sports.
Jade Jones, double Olympic taekwondo champion Jade Jones said she was anxious in lockdown and that “wasn’t in a great place” last summer at the Tokyo Games.
Jones said that he didn't know how much lockdown had impacted him. It's not something I do, so I haven't spoken out about it. It was a time when I felt a lot of anxiety, something I'd never experienced before. I was afraid to be near my family because I thought I would pass this deadly disease on to them. I was obsessing over everything. This is where it all started.
Lewis Hamilton, seven-time Formula One World Champion, spoke out about his mental and emotional struggles in March on social media. He said that it was difficult some days to remain positive.
The New Zealand Allrounder speaks to Valkerie Baynes of ESPN about her mental-health journey and how it helped her see the importance of sharing her problems with her loved ones
Melissa Stockwell, para-triathlete and para-paralympian, Alise Willoughby, BMX rider Alise Wiloughby, and Jordyn Barratt (pictured), discuss their experiences in the months after the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics as well as how they dealt with the post-Games blues.
Andy Lewis has the phrase “Never Give Up” tattooed on one of his legs. For Andy Lewis, 38 years old, it's more that a slogan. It is a way of living. He is a father and husband as well as an amputee, Paralympic champion with ADHD, and a father. He is also a businessman who was close to ending his life before a stranger, who then became a friend.
Lewis has never lost heart, no matter what obstacles he faced in school or in life. He isn't superhuman, but he's not impossible to believe.
The start of a new season brings hope to footballers across the U.K. For others, however, the big kickoff is a reminder that their dream is over.
Demetri Mitchell, ESPN's Demetri Mitchell, says that he knew his time was up as he approached the end of his contract at Manchester United. It was inevitable, but it is still hard to hear the news. It wasn't something I expected. [hard]Because I knew my time was up. But, when I was told it was, it was hard.
“My lowest point was not knowing whether I would play again. While I may have been overthinking and being dramatic, my mind was asking, “Am i going to play again? Am I going be all right? What do I do if it isn't?” It was mentally difficult for me. Although I tried to not show it, those close to me could pick it up and I was able to support them.
Sophie Devine, New Zealand's opening batter and captain, talks about her mental health and the influence of Naomi Osaka. She also discusses how Hove felt at home against England.
Tom Dumoulin was convinced his career as professional cyclist was over. In January 2020, he took a five-month break from the sport to recover.
The Dutchman explains why taking a break in elite sport to rest and walk his dog helped him come back stronger, which enabled him to compete at the Tokyo Olympics and win a second medal.
Brighton Mhlongo, a former South Africa goalkeeper, didn't reach rock bottom in relation to alcohol. There was nothing that could have made him a non-alcoholic professional footballer and a problem drinker. He came out of it.
After some sober years, however, Mhlongo now faces a new loss. He was hit by what he called a ‘point-blank, full-blast' training shot to the head, which resulted in the functional loss vision in his left side. Mhlongo, despite this news, tells ESPN why it is important to continue the path to mental health that took so long for him to find.
Athletes spend their lives preparing their bodies for extreme physical exertion. But Kate Green, Psycho-Social Leader for Sunrisers cricket team, wants to educate them about the importance of taking care their mental health. The two women, who are working together with Danni Warren (Sunrisers' Regional Director for Women's Cricket), want to stress the importance of prevention over treating.
Valkerie baynes and the women discuss in this exclusive interview how most girls have not been educated in the same way that their male counterparts. They also tell ESPN how they plan to change that.
Joe Bryan doesn't recall how he felt in the greatest moments of his career. He only recalls those two goals he scored against Brentford in the 2020 Championship playoff final, which earned Fulham promotion to the Premier League and a £170m windfall, through watching highlights. He can't even remember the emotion of scoring a wondergoal for Bristol City against Manchester United in 2017.
He can still recall moments during matches when he was overcome by anxiety and the feeling of wanting to run 100 kilometres away from him. He wakes up feeling like he —“; some mornings are more vivid than others. ESPN spoke to him that he still doubts his right to play at the level he does, or whether he's good enough to do so. “I still question myself.”
Stuart Meaker began seeing a therapist after he went through a divorce 2 years ago. He has been able to continue these sessions for several weeks after realizing that there's no quick fix for mental issues.
Meaker, the Sussex seamer and former fast-tracker to England honours, has learned a lot about quick fixes.
Meaker told ESPNcricinfo that many people, when faced with difficult life circumstances or relationships breaking up, turn their attention to their work and their careers.
Drivers employed a variety strategies to keep busy during the 2020 Formula One season delay. McLaren's Lando Noris, McLaren's driver, explains to ESPN's Nate Saunders his decision to openly discuss his mental health and how he helped others.