As the Roland-Garros tournament is in full swing, former four-time Grand Slam tennis player Justine Henin spoke to France 24 on Friday about the mental health issue in sport, evoking the pressure that can sometimes paralyze young athletes.
“High-level sport is a difficult life, full of sacrifices and not allowing the same youth as anyone else,” said former world number one Justine. Henin at the microphone of France 24. “We live a lot of pressure but it’s still our choice,” added the four-time champion of the tournament Roland-Garroswhile the issue of athletes’ mental health is regularly highlighted in recent months.
If she explains that she was pressured as an athlete in the early 2000s, she laments that today, athletes live in an “era of communication” that “raises a lot of questions.” “And the relationship to time is no longer the same. You have to react all the time, be on the ball,” she laments.
“The question of results, from week to week, has always been present,” she continues. “But the competition is tougher now and there is less and less room for privacy. That’s why we need a strong environment.”
The former tennis player, godmother of a young talent program in Belgium, tries to make young athletes understand “that it is important to reserve personal time and stay creative …”. “The important thing is to be able to turn this stress into an engine,” she concludes.