People consider athletes to be the fittest, healthy, and perfect human beings. But they don’t know the dark side. People are unaware that gymnastics, though it is a sport, carries lots of risks for the athletes. Young athletes have to face numerous problems regarding their physical and mental health. Sometimes, these problems even result in the direct or indirect death of athletes. That’s why young males and females who are interested in making their future in gymnastics and other sports should always consider their decision and know all the pros and cons before stepping in. Discussed below are some of the main problems that athletes face in their lives.
Female Athlete Triad
This is the most common problem faced by young female athletes. The female athlete triad includes irregular eating habits, which ultimately results in extraordinary thinness. Moreover, they face complications in their menstruation cycles, which become the cause of their infertility, problems in giving birth, and osteoporosis. This is caused by the high energy expenditure in their training and a low calorie intake, leading to an imbalance of hormones which can have long term effects on their health. It is important for female athletes to maintain a well-balanced diet and seek professional help if they are facing any irregularities in their menstrual cycles.
Every day, 80,000 people are admitted to the hospitals. The reason is sports injuries. Sixty percent of the population getting injuries are athletes. The reason for injuries can be anything from an overdose of steroids to dehydration, over-training, and the still-growing bones and muscles of young athletes.
Apart from injuries, athletes also face walking problems because their feet get prone to fungus and infection; this happens because they are wearing shoes and socks all the time, which prevents oxygen from reaching the foot cells and sweat from evaporating. As a result, their feet become a habitat for bacteria and fungi. Check the article to prevent fungus here.
Joint and Muscle Problems
Athletes reaching their last years are more likely to develop muscle problems, joint problems, and arthritis. The major reason for this is an accelerated degeneration of the spine, which occurs after years of stretching, bending, and flexing of muscles. As a result, athletes often experience backaches and suffer from stiff joints.
To prevent or alleviate joint and muscle problems, it is important for athletes to incorporate stretching and proper warm-up techniques into their training routines. This can help improve flexibility, increase blood flow to muscles, and reduce the risk of injuries.
Dehydration and heat illness are some of the most common problems observed in young and child athletes. But being usual doesn’t mean that they aren’t dangerous. They are the direct cause of sports-related death. Athletes are more likely to develop dehydration and heat illness when performing or training in places with high humidity and temperatures. Proper hydration before, during and after training or competition is crucial to prevent dehydration. Athletes should also take regular breaks and cool down their bodies to prevent heat illness.
Many athletes often permanently lose their ability to walk, stand, or sit. They became disabled for the rest of their lives. The reason is that they are always in a state of risk and don’t know whether they will return in one piece after completing the game. A minor injury to their spinal cord during a fall can make them paralysed for the rest of their lives. It is important for athletes and their coaches to prioritize safety and proper training techniques to prevent such serious disabilities. Additionally, it is crucial for sports organizations to have protocols in place for immediate medical attention in case of a severe injury.
Hundreds and thousands of athletes are rejected each year from the sport just because they get minor injuries that make them non-eligible to remain participants. As a result, they begin to develop anxiety, stress, and depression, which further gives rise to many other related problems like sleep deprivation, obesity, cardiac attacks, and aggressiveness. This untreated depression has many side effects that are not good. It can even lead to suicidal thoughts and actions. It is important for sports organizations and coaches to prioritize the mental well-being of their athletes and provide support and resources for those who may be struggling with depression or other mental health issues. Proper education and awareness about mental health should also be included in athlete training programs.
Hundreds of young athletes die each year not from a natural ailment but by taking their lives with their hands. As I have described previously, the rejected athletes, due to the injuries, either opt for the criminal path or choose the more convenient way by ending their lives. The risk of suicide increases more when the injured and rejected participants are replaced in the game by their teammates. The thought of being replaced becomes unbearable and degrading for their ego, and they find suicide a way to finish their guilt. It is important for coaches and sports organizations to recognize the signs of depression and suicide risk, and provide proper support to their athletes. Moreover, mental health awareness should be included in athlete training programs to prevent such tragedies from happening.
In conclusion, athletes grapple with a myriad of challenges that extend beyond the physical demands of their respective sports. From the constant risk of injuries and the pressure to perform at peak levels to the psychological toll of competition and the uncertainties surrounding their careers, athletes navigate a complex landscape. Moreover, issues like inadequate financial support, doping controversies, and the lack of post-career transition assistance further compound the difficulties they face. Despite these formidable challenges, athletes often demonstrate remarkable resilience, dedication, and passion for their sport. Addressing these problems requires a holistic approach involving sports organisations and the broader community to foster an environment that nurtures the well-being and success of athletes both during and after their competitive careers.