For many people, the possibility of making it big as a professional athlete is incredible. It sounds like rainbows and butterflies, lots of money and a career of doing something you love. While these things may be true, there are lots of other things to consider too.
Indeed, it’s not always easy to be a professional athlete. Firstly, you’ve got to be incredibly good at what you do to even become professional. Being good takes not only talent but loads of time and hard work too. But it’s more than that that makes it tough.
Here are some of the main difficulties that professional athletes have to face.
Intense Physical Demands
The most obvious thing is that athletes have to deal with seriously intense physical demands. This has to do with their training as well as their diet. When you’re a professional athlete, your body is a tool to help you win. You simply cannot just do whatever you like and eat anything you want.
Not only is this difficult to accept, but training hard can also be dangerous. Most professional athletes end up dealing with injuries at some point because of over training.
Lots of Competition
When you’re competing at the professional level, you’re going against the best of the best. Everybody you’re competing against was the best at some point. And everybody you’re competing with wants to win more than anything in the world. However, only one person (or one team) can win.
With this kind of intense competition comes stress. When you’re constantly trying to be better than everyone, it can get really tiring. And if you fail, it can be incredibly hard to accept. Often, athletes feel that their personal achievements are synonymous with their professional, athletic achievements.
Loads of Traveling
From a logistical stand point, being a professional athlete means you constantly need to travel. Of course, the specifics are different for every sport and at different times of year. But at the end of the day, most athletes are hardly ever at home. This makes it hard to settle down and spend time with loved ones. Not being able to be at home much can have negative effects on your mental health.
Because professional athletes’ careers are dependent on their physical health, their careers are limited. You can only compete for as long as you’re physically capable. Thus, professional athletes need to ensure that they’re set up with something else to do or with enough money for when they retire professionally. Some athletes capitalise on their fame and swap to other types of games like poker, or they may play online casino games in NZ for fun as they haven’t lost their competitive edge.
Living in the Limelight
Some people love it, others hate it. But either way, when you’re doing it constantly, it can be incredibly difficult to always be watched. Every move you make is monitored. Living in the limelight can be really hard when you just want to detach from the world and take a break. For instance, if all you want to do is relax and have a drink or go to a club, there’s bound to be somebody that’ll find out about that.