Damian Lillard, Simone Biles, and athletes from every sport may all often struggle with balancing both their mental and physical health.
Recently, the US gymnast decided to opt out of the Tokyo Olympics to focus on her mental health. The move was met with both support and criticism, but at the end of the day, athletes were able to relate to her and understand where she was coming from.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 29, 2021
In light of these events, Damian Lillard also opened up about some times when he felt like the mental strain was getting to him.
Damian Lillard Speaks Up About Battling Mental Health After Simone Biles’ Decision
While it’s easy to judge an athlete based on their physical play and how they maintain their body, noticing their mental health is obviously a much harder task.
The concept of mental health is still very much a taboo among the sporting world as athletes often feel this subconcious pressure to maintain their grit or toughness so as to not seem ‘weak’ to their fans.
As a result, many of them choose to ignore their issues or hide it away and take out their battles in often unhealthy ways.
This puts them in dark spots more often than not which can get overbearing at times. Damian Lillard cited some tough times in his career as well:
Lillard’s comments are something most NBA players, and athletes in general can probably relate to. Performing night in and night out with the pressure and expectations of millions around you can get overwhelming. It’s precisely why Simone Biles withdrew from the Tokyo Olympics and maybe why Lillard felt this way.
The important thing is to always be supportive of athletes when such scenarios arise. That sets up a more comfortable environment for them to come forward with their difficulties and battle it in the right manner.