Cut To The Race Podcast

Measuring An Athlete’s Mental Stance

Sometimes reporters change the dynamic of interviews.

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Often athletes are encouraged to give statements before and after competitions.

On occasion though, reporters can go too far and end up changing the dynamic of interviews.

This was seen post-race when Max Verstappen was being interviewed about his Monaco win. As the race winner, one would think you should get all of the attention. Also you’re on such a high from the adrenaline. However, Serena Williams intervened and disrupted his magical moment.

It’s not clear whether this would ever happen in any other sport. Many fans and spectators found it rather strange. The commentary around social media was immense.

This week, tennis player Naomi Osaka stated that she won’t be participating in any press conferences during the Roland Garros competition. It would be interesting if in the future any Formula 1 drivers didn’t want to take part in media sessions.

Former F1 champion, Nico Rosberg came out to support her action. It’s impossible to imagine the amount of pressure and stress an athlete faces during competition to then be painted a certain way by the media. Their mental strength is on another level which we all appreciate.

Rosberg said while speaking with Reuters, “I think it’s quite a ballsy step again from her. I can understand because when I was on my way to the championship. I switched everything off. No media, no news, no emails. I had nothing. No phone, no nothing. Just focus. For the last five months en route to the championship.”

Maintaining focus is the most important thing when aiming for success in any sport. We should respect athletes enough to give them space when dealing with mental health in sport. The media should remember at the end of the day, they are people too.

Headline Image Credit: Charly Lopez/Spacesuit Media.

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