Paddy Upton has revealed that a significant change in the status quo is stressful for athletes and they will have a range of experiences during this time. He has also added that players with interest outside of cricket will cope with the phase better than many who make sports their main focus.
The forced lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic has brought the world to a standstill and sports have been hugely affected by it. The future of the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League is hanging by a thread while other sporting events have their own dose of uncertainty too. Sportsmen, across disciplines, who love to go out there and perform in front of an enraptured audience, have to stay put inside, something Upton believes will work as a two-way street.
"A significant change in the status quo is stressful for most people. For athletes, there would be a range of experiences, from welcome relief for the established to anxiety and insecurity, both professionally and financially, for possibly a greater number. The athletes who had interests outside of cricket, and which they can still pursue, will be coping better than those who have made sport the sole focus and purpose of their lives. For this latter group, they will really need to find new interests," Upton told ToI.
"Fringe players and those at the early stages of their career, especially those who have very recently broken through to the next level, would naturally be feeling this break very disruptive. Anxiety and depression arise within healthy and normal people when they spend too much time focussing firstly on themselves, and secondly on the problems that they are having. I would really caution not only athletes but everyone, to use their awareness to guard against this very normal threat."
Upton earlier had worked as the head coach of the Rajasthan Royals franchise before being replaced by Andrew McDonald for this season. Speaking about the future of the event, Upton said, it was down to the proper metric and when can be the impact of the deadly virus subside.
"It's really unknown whether IPL will happen, as much of the future remains rather uncertain. Some are prophesying months of lockdown and slow down, and others suggest that this is not too far off the regular annual influenza. Time and research will tell when sporting action will resume. What's important is to ensure we maintain a bigger perspective of our lives, specifically taking care of all the facets that make up who we are as humans, which include looking after the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspect of our lives," the former Indian mental conditioning coach added.