Tenisač Noah Rubin (23) iz New Yorka napravio je Instagram profil pod nazivom "Iza reketa" kako bi ohrabrio tenisačice i tenisače da otvoreno govore o svojim problemima u karijeri. Naravno, radi se o sportašima ispod elitnog ranga tenisa.
Britanska tenisačica Katie Swan tako je ondje objavila svoju priču o svom samopouzdanju, ozljedi i financijskim problemima. Rubin ističe kako je depresija česta u tenisu zbog financijskih problema s kojima se susreću tenisači, a borbu zatim vode alkoholom i drugim opijatima kako bi "pobjegli" od problema.
Tenis se oduvijek smatra glamuroznim sportom, ali upravo ovaj Instagram profil otkriva i njegovu mračnu stranu.
- Želim da ljudi shvate kako je zapravo biti tenisač- rekao je osnivač stranice Daily Mailu.
Noah je s 18 godina osvojio Wimbledon u konkurenciji mladića, a pojavu "mračnih trenutaka tenisa", svaljuje na konstantan strah od poraza i vlastite krivice budući da se radi o individualnom sportu. Osim toga, u svemu ne pomaže niti sezona koja traje čak 11 mjeseci i tako ostavlja velike posljedice na tijela sportaša.
"I should preface this by saying that I understand if the first part leads you to believe I am ungrateful or cynical. There are no words to explain the extraordinary opportunities tennis has given me and my love for this game never ceases to stun me. Regardless, I have come across obstacles I never thought tennis would force me to face. I am 23, yet I feel so much older than that. It seems that this sport has a way of making you feel irrelevant while at the same giving you this sense of entitlement. With the likelihood of losing every week and the forever expanding field of players, chances are if you were once ‘talk of the town’, that will quickly diminish over time. I feel in the case of many players, even in the slightest way, that hard work and past success should allow for present fortune. It is a never ending battle. I remember a loss last year in Spain after losing first round of qualifying of a challenger. It was 11 at night and there I am, all alone, tears slowly dripping down my face. There were only a few lights on as the club was shutting down. This loss continued a 5 match losing streak for me. I sat there thinking how hard I had been working, how much effort I put into this match and how in the world it was possible that after starting the year with a title I was now losing first round of qualifying. Recently after looking back at this match and other moments along these lines, I truly started to understand that tennis didn’t owe anything to any one. It is the sport it is and will not be changing any time soon. I thought I knew how unglamorous it was, but I was mistaken. It is an ongoing treacherous road that leaves you guessing what the right thing to do is. Quite often it has led me guessing if the output of effort is worth the product. After further analyzing I started to realize that I was losing the mentality I once had. That when I stepped on court, of course I wanted to win, but I played for the excitement of seeing my efforts displayed, for the love of running down every ball and obviously the intense pleasure that comes with extreme competition...” (full story on Behind The Racquet facebook)
- Ako niste u Top 50, morate igrati velik broj turnira, prevelik. Samo se još više ozljeđujete - pojašnjava Noah.
- Svaki vikend je turnir, svaki vikend imate novu šansu podbaciti. Sve je to teška bitka bez kraj - rekao je.
Iako neki turniri imaju pozamašne nagrade za pobjednike, ako niste u Top 100, teško si možete priuštiti putovanja, smještaj i trenere, misli Noah.
Njegova stranica ima već preko 13.000 pratitelja i preko 60 priča. Svaki se tenisač fotografirao s reketom ispred lica.
Katie Swan (20) je britanska tenisačica koja je 233. tenisačica na svijetu. U svibnju je objavila svoju priču o jednom od svojih najlošijih perioda u karijeri. Grč u leđima spriječio ju je da 2019. godina bude njezina. Srećom Katie je uspjela prebroditi svoj problem uz prijatelje, obitelj i svoj tim.
“We need to normalize it. We can’t make people feel as if they have some kind of disease just because they are seeking help and talking to a psychologist. You have all these people telling you things, but you need to find that one person, who you truly connect to, that can give you the tools to overcome your issues. Many obstacles I faced were not only on the court. During a tournament I was at with my coach last year in Spain, he got some awful news. His five-year-old son went through a glass window and had his throat cut on the glass. His son thankfully went through life saving surgery. I, of course, understood when my coach had to be home with his family but it left me trying to find my way at the beginning of the grass season. I had some help from my other coach to fill in a few weeks, but he was dealing with his wife sadly battling cancer, who succumbed to this disease at the end of last year. On top of all the devastating events my team and I had to deal with, my boyfriend returned home from Nigeria late last year and was diagnosed with Malaria. For a few days we weren’t sure if he was going to make it but heroically fought through it. With the distressing events that took place in 2018, I was expecting 2019 to be ‘the’ year. The idea that if my team and I could get through this, we could get through anything. That idea abruptly ended when I had a full back spasm at only the second tournament of the year. After working so physically hard in the pre season, I did not think this would ever be an issue. This was followed by one of lowest periods in my tennis career. I thought I was being dramatic after everything that took place last year. It took some time to understand that there is no need to compare your obstacles with past ones. No matter the hardship it should be given full respect no matter the size. It took a while to open up about the pressures I faced but with the help of my friends, family and team, I was able to see the positives. I deserve to be here and I found my fight again.”
Madison Keys (24) bivša finalistica US Opena priznala je kako se borila s poremećajem prehrane kao teenager.
- Kada bi me vidjeli na televiziji, ljudi su mi govorili da trebam skinuti nekoliko kilograma ili da sam debela. To me je jako smetalo i počela sam dnevno jesti samo tri čokoladice po 100 kalorija dnevno. To je trajalo gotovo dvije godine, što je onda posljedično dovelo i do depresije - priznala je u svojoj objavi.
“When I was fifteen, I had an eating disorder. There were people in my life and others who would see me on tv, that would tell me I was fat, or needed to lose a few pounds. Eventually, that truly got into my head. I was living off three, 100 calorie bars a day. I struggled with this problem for almost two years, which led to some issues with depression. I completely shut my friends and mom out of my life. I felt like I put this mask on to get through each day, hoping no one would ask how or what I was doing. I became super paranoid because I wanted to keep it all a secret and didn’t want anyone to worry. It took until one day when I realized what I was doing, I was hurting my tennis. I couldn’t get through a week of practice because I had nothing in my body. I let other people change how I felt about myself and that hurt the dream I’ve been working towards since I was four years old. I decided that I needed to get control of my eating. It took some time to get myself to open up to people again. It’s something I still struggle with when I get stressed or upset, but I have a much healthier relationship with food now.”
Jared Hiltzik (25) trenutačno je 498. tenisač svijeta i ispod svoje fotografije podijelio priču o financijskim problemima s kojima su se njegova obitelj i on susreli zbog tenisa. Majka mu je, za vrijeme njegova odrastanja, tri puta imala rak, zbog čega se, tvrdi, često pitao treba li on prestati igrati.
“When growing up, in order to play tennis at a high level, you need to have some money in your family. My mom had cancer three times. First diagnosed when I was around ten. It had a large strain on my family. When reflecting on it, I wonder if I didn’t play tennis, would my parents be happier, since financials wouldn’t be an issue? Growing up on the north shore, people assume you have a lot of money. Regardless of what my parents did for a living, between three battles with cancer, doctor bills really built up. It took a major toll, forcing my family to take out multiple mortgages on the house. It is still really tough since they still cannot help me financially, nor would I ask them too. It has been extremely tough for my brother and I. They sacrificed everything for us to play tennis. They sacrificed their relationship for us. I remember going back home freshman year of college and there was constant fighting about finances. After some time I just left my house for six hours, sat in my car in a parking lot and just sobbed, not knowing why this was happening. I didn’t know how bad it was. I finally spoke to my dad and heard the truth behind all the medical expenses. We couldn’t afford it anymore. My mom’s brother had a stroke and passed away. Throughout the stroke, my grandmother supported my uncle and had no money left saved. Now my mom is taking care of my grandmother, who was recently diagnosed with parkinsonism and needed to move into assisted living. There isn’t much money left. It’s tough to go back home even now. It doesn’t take long when I get back to notice the same old issues. I kind of had to be a leader within my family, cosigning on my dad’s car. It has all made me extremely aware of finances. Constantly thinking of the repercussions when financials aren’t in order. I always continue to find ways to help support myself and Heather, so we never have to feel that burden. Heather’s family has a history of cancer, and so does mine, which will always put things in perspective.”
- Bilo je to teško razdoblje za mog brata i mene. Roditelji su žrtvovali sve kako bismo mi mogli igrati tenis - napisao je Jared.
Andrej Rubljev (21) je ruski tenisač koji je stigao do 31. mjesta na svijetu u pojedinačnoj konkurenciji u veljači 2018. Prošle je godine ima ozljedu donjeg dijela leđa što ga je maknulo s terena na tri mjeseca, a posljedica je bila - depresija.
- Tenis mi je previše nedostajao i sve što sam htio bilo je vratiti se na teren - napisao je.
“It was last year when I sadly had a stress fracture in my lower back. It kept me out of competition for three months. It was an incredibly tough time for me which led to some depression. Since the injury was in my back I wasn’t allowed to do anything for the first two months. I had more free time than I ever had and I didn’t know what to do with it all. I missed the sport so much and all I wanted to do was compete. I clearly remember nothing else at the time was making me happy. It truly was one of the toughest moments of my career. I was born to compete and now I couldn’t and that’s where moments of depression came from. I would try to not keep up with any results from tournaments. Any time I did, by accident, it would make me really upset to see other players doing something I couldn’t at the time. I am here at home doing nothing while they are doing their best and improving. I had to continue to wait for the bone to heal to do even a little rehab. I just wanted to do a little fitness but it was killing me that there was absolutely nothing I could do. While I began to watch matches I almost got that same feeling of competition that I would get from playing, but then it would be overtaken by sadness when I knew it would be some time until I could do it again. There were definitely moments when I would be doing minor rehab and forget all these problems but it would always come back. I would watch a match and realize just how long the road to recovery is and how much longer until I am back on court. It made me want to be back on court more than anything.”
To su samo neke od potresnih priča koje su prikazane na ovome originalnom profilu. Prikazana je surova istina borbe u sportu u kojemu iz dana u dan raste konkurencija, ali i troškovi. Možda nikada popularniji, tenis je postao i nikada skuplji, a stres zbog pitanja "hoću li uspjeti" često tenisače košta više nego što se novcem može kupiti.