Athletes are people too
Clarence Firstborn – Sports Counselling.
As a counsellor I’m passionate about working with athletes and sports people because I understand some of their motivations, frustrations, pressures and demands. Many sports people are struggling with emotional upheaval, challenges to their self-esteem, bullying, neglect, abuse and trauma, and the focus on a sporting practice and its demands can be a welcome distraction from the turmoil going on inside.
Distractions are often a short-term strategy which means they need to be resorted to again and again while the issues remain. They can be offset by success because success and all it entails can be another distraction, but the persistence of the issues can become destructive as the athlete overtrains, looks for enhancing products, or anything that allows them to stay successful and, by extension, distracted.
I became an athlete in my teens to help me deal with my own issues, I needed someone to be there for me at a critical stage in my life and there was no one. Athletics became where I put my negative emotions and my motivation to become a counsellor was to be there for others, to help them with their emotional, relational, and developmental issues as I needed someone to be there for me.
As my priorities began to shift I moved into coaching where the emotional obstacles to peak performance were most apparent. I saw the need for sports counselling-a therapeutic relationship rather than pathologising of symptoms.
I trained successfully, to become a counsellor and my focus is on facilitating personal growth and development