The news of his license came as a shock to many. But the most surprising thing is that more athletes do not succumb to mental pressures.

Article content

Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, I watched Les Canadiens win eight Stanley Cups between 1968 and 1979. It seemed surreal and normal at the same time. No one could have predicted his current Cup drought.

Commercial

Article content

As a data scientist, I analyze data to identify trends, gather insights, and offer explanations. Risk-based decision making in uncertain situations is my specialty. It has allowed me to make contributions that have led me to improve airport security systems, election forecasting and sports analysis.

However, no amount of data analysis and risk assessment can break the mental health injury risk code.

There are obvious physical risks in being a professional hockey player, which are generally described as upper or lower body injuries. And concussions. Star athletes are placed on a pedestal for their ability to play games that many participate in as children. With increased competition, a natural process of elimination occurs and only the best artists achieve professional status. As the cream rises to the top, so does the talent it takes to earn a living playing child’s game.

Commercial

Article content

Whether you’re a star athlete or some other highly visible person, a flawless veneer of stability should permeate your public persona. This creates a schism between your inner life and your outer image. With multi-million dollar salaries and overwhelming performance expectations, these people must execute at superhuman levels regardless of what is going on in their psyche. This pressure creates a growing divide that can only affect your mental health and well-being.

Trending on Canadian News  Russia admits that Western support for Ukraine slows its offensive but assures that it will meet its objectives

The news last week that Carey Price, the Canadiens’ star goalkeeper, was absent, surprised many. His teammate Jonathan Drouin took a similar leave in April. But the most surprising thing is that more athletes do not succumb to such mental pressures.

Commercial

Article content

Actually, they do, although it manifests itself in different ways. Some turn to illicit or prescription drugs. Others adopt addictions like gambling. Many take a more constructive approach, turning their attention to public service, or faith and religion, and find comfort in pressures in a spiritual realm.

Whether we are star hockey players or ordinary people, life’s stresses are often self-imposed, based on the division between what we expect of ourselves and what we can deliver.

Let’s not be fooled by discussions and dialogue on social media. What counts the most is our inner life, not the projected outer image. This is how our fears can be confronted and overcome, inspiring others to do the same.

It’s complicated. For star athletes like Price, blessed and cursed by visibility, they must steer clear of the spotlight for shelter and relief.

Commercial

Article content

The lesson learned is that star athletes, no matter how they perform and what they win, are still human, with the same human emotions that we all share. For them, their public life and their private life are different and separate; we only see his public life. However, their private life is the reality for them and their family.

In a world where profit, power, wealth, and reputation are valued, let’s remember that the most valued asset we all have is time. Each of us leaves a legacy based on what we do with our time and the lives we touch.

Price may never play another game for the Canadiens. Or it could come back sooner than we think. Either way, he’s still Carey Price, father, husband, and human being.

Trending on Canadian News  4 free activities that you cannot miss in Barcelona

You are lucky enough to make a living playing professional hockey, but you must bear the burden that comes with it. He accepted the risk, physical and emotional. You deserve our support and respect and, at this time, your privacy.

Sheldon H. Jacobson is a founding professor of computer science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He applies his expertise in data-driven risk assessment to assess and inform public policy and public health. He is originally from Montreal, where he attended McGill University.

    Commercial

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civilized discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to moderate before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications – you will now receive an email if you receive a response to your comment, there is an update from a comment thread you follow, or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Principles for more information and details on how to adjust your E-mail settings.

Reference-montrealgazette.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.