Olympics

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Aug 16, 2012
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#81
A simple way of thinking of it is the stress curve. Too little stress and you don't have enough pressure to push yourself, too much and you get in your own head. Elite athletes often have a higher inflection point, but it's still the same process. Once stress pushes too much past the inflection, it can be hard to come back without help because you start failing or at least performing worse, which only increasing the stress/anxiety. All of this taxes and changes the cognitive systems you need. So, we typically define it as not just being distressed or upset, but when that kind of stress (or other emotion) interferes with your ability to perform important life tasks.

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Interesting information, but would you consider these stresses a "mental issue" as a layman would conventionally define the term? (not withstanding the other issue discussed in recent posts)
 
Aug 16, 2012
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#82
The way they often train these girls (many now women) is basically abuse. Pretty sure Simone was one where she had to train a lot of the year away from family. Breaking them away from their families was actually part of the Karolyi method for training if you watch any of the deep dives on their training. As young as elementary school, they were hammered from what they ate, how the trained, if they showed pain.... Nassar isn't the only problem with USA gymnastics.
About 10 years ago, I looked at the building in Mesquite for a client that was purchasing it that at the time housed the WOGA training facility. My understanding is it was considered a top-tier facility. I was appalled at not only the conditions, but the regimen the girls (mostly) were having to endure.
 

TheMonkey

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#83
Interesting information, but would you consider these stresses a "mental issue" as a layman would conventionally define the term? (not withstanding the other issue discussed in recent posts)
A layman’s opinion here.

I think you mean “mental health issue.” I don’t think it’s the stressors that would define the issue, but the individual’s state of mind. Competing in the Olympics is one of the most stressful experiences someone can experience.

What could have tipped Biles into crisis is her mental state before the Olympics. How was she synthesizing her history of trauma? Were her advocacy efforts helping her heal, was it forcing her to obsess, or was she using it to mask what she was truly feeling?

Since it is psychological, the amount of pressure (horizontal axis) will be different for each individual. So, it’s not just the stressor, it’s also our internal response and the amount of pressure that creates within us.
 
May 31, 2007
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#84
Honest question...
Is stress brought on by an overwhelming desire/need to succeed considered a "mental issue"? At what point does pressure to perform become a mental issue?

Again, honest question. You hear "mental issues" a lot and I am looking for an accepted definition as to what that constitutes.
I think once that type of thing causes severe anxiety or panic attacks it goes from being “normal” to something that is actually affecting mental health.
 
May 4, 2011
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#85
Interesting information, but would you consider these stresses a "mental issue" as a layman would conventionally define the term? (not withstanding the other issue discussed in recent posts)
Yes, though I wouldn't use that term and I'm not diagnosing her from afar, but she seems to clearly be experiencing stress that is severely impairing her performance and even her ability to talk to the media. These problems are not fixed, permanent, or innate. It seems like it's been building for months if not years that her performance has been inversely proportional to the degree of spotlight and pressure. She's private enough that it's tough to know how well she's handling it off camera, but I'd be shocked if she hasn't been having breakdowns of some sort all while questioning her self worth. Her life and extrinsic value have been entirely defined by her being the greatest of all time at this sport. Imagine if you had anxiety so debilitating that it took away the most fundamental thing in your life, even if temporarily. You fight the anxiety and you just wind up doing worse, unable to concentrate or do what feels simple, which just makes the stress and anxiety worse. That's where she likley is right now.
 
May 4, 2011
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#86
A layman’s opinion here.

I think you mean “mental health issue.” I don’t think it’s the stressors that would define the issue, but the individual’s state of mind. Competing in the Olympics is one of the most stressful experiences someone can experience.

What could have tipped Biles into crisis is her mental state before the Olympics. How was she synthesizing her history of trauma? Were her advocacy efforts helping her heal, was it forcing her to obsess, or was she using it to mask what she was truly feeling?

Since it is psychological, the amount of pressure (horizontal axis) will be different for each individual. So, it’s not just the stressor, it’s also our internal response and the amount of pressure that creates within us.
This could be. Also, there's often a circular argument about what a stressor is since stressors are things that cause stress, which is always unique to an individual in the manner and degree in which they experience it. Maybe there was stress from a stressor outside of gymnastics that started it all, but my hunch is that it's all related. "If I don't just win, but dominate, no one will care what I say. I'll let everyone down that I'm trying to help. People will see me as a failure. Nobody will care about me if I'm not the GOAT." All of those thoughts add rocket fuel to the stress and then both the thoughts and stress impair focus. That loss of focus leads to worse performance, leading to more intense thoughts/stress and then you just rev up the cycle all over.
 

okstate987

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Oct 17, 2009
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#87
I don't understand these people. She's represented the USA wonderfully in the past and is phenomenal. She had an issue of focus(for whatever reason), that if she continued, she could have caused the team to not medal at all, and could even have hurt herself.
She did the right thing for her AND the team. Giving them the best chance going forward.

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Exactly this.

If she didn't bow out, Team USA probably wouldn't have medaled. I really don't understand how someone could see her bowing out as selfish, unless they are going for that old boomer trope of "the young generation is so weak minded and a bunch of p****".
 

okstate987

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Oct 17, 2009
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#88
A layman’s opinion here.

I think you mean “mental health issue.” I don’t think it’s the stressors that would define the issue, but the individual’s state of mind. Competing in the Olympics is one of the most stressful experiences someone can experience.

What could have tipped Biles into crisis is her mental state before the Olympics. How was she synthesizing her history of trauma? Were her advocacy efforts helping her heal, was it forcing her to obsess, or was she using it to mask what she was truly feeling?

Since it is psychological, the amount of pressure (horizontal axis) will be different for each individual. So, it’s not just the stressor, it’s also our internal response and the amount of pressure that creates within us.
Perfectionism and high performance is pretty common from those who have a traumatic past. Especially if one already had quite a bit of success in something.
 
May 4, 2011
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#89
Exactly this.

If she didn't bow out, Team USA probably wouldn't have medaled. I really don't understand how someone could see her bowing out as selfish, unless they are going for that old boomer trope of "the young generation is so weak minded and a bunch of p****".
Honestly, they made the calculation that it's politically expedient to pounce on an Olympian whom they can pitch as too weak because she's "woke" even though Simone is pretty measured in everything she says on societal issues.
 
May 4, 2011
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#90
Perfectionism and high performance is pretty common from those who have a traumatic past. Especially if one already had quite a bit of success in something.
If it's helpful, I would frame the more common reaction as fear of failure and intolerance of uncertainty. Perfectionism does happen, but it's a bit different. Sometimes those other two factors lead people to do impulsive things, which is often the opposite for perfectionism.
 

TheMonkey

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#91
Honestly, they made the calculation that it's politically expedient to pounce on an Olympian whom they can pitch as too weak because she's "woke" even though Simone is pretty measured in everything she says on societal issues.
Politically expedient is the perfect term. The prevalence of this in our society is a major issue. Very few are playing the long game, but instead are willing to trade doing the right thing for short term and personal benefit. We’re a bunch of selfish a-holes creating perpetual “Black Friday” grabs for money, fame, and power.
 

PF5

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Jan 3, 2014
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#92
You clearly haven’t been following the discussion. I’ve already pointed out the growing presence of mental health issues in major sports. She’s been having mental health issues for a few years now. She didn’t just “snap”. Truly recognizing mental health would be not to put a person in this state of mind under this kind of microscope and into this kind of fire. But instead everyone focused on cashing in on her. Ignoring warning signs is precisely why “someone close to you puts a bullet in their head”.
you clearly have never had anyone close to you take their life, because sometimes there are no warning signs, or at least not any relatives and/or friends could sense..

Ignorant sentence by you: Ignoring warning signs is precisely why “someone close to you puts a bullet in their head

again, glad you are such an expert on the life and times of Simone Biles...
 
Mar 11, 2006
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#94
you clearly have never had anyone close to you take their life, because sometimes there are no warning signs, or at least not any relatives and/or friends could sense..

Ignorant sentence by you: Ignoring warning signs is precisely why “someone close to you puts a bullet in their head

again, glad you are such an expert on the life and times of Simone Biles...
I think you may be elevating the Biles situation larger than what it is. Biles herself said her mental health was fine. Mental health is like physical health — an bruised ankle is not on the level as a torn ligament and not on the same level as heart disease. Mental health is wide ranging. She said her issue was dealing with expectations because she was not having confidence in her twists.

I liken this to Steve Sax and Chuck Knoblach having a mental block throwing from 2nd base to 1st base. Or when STL Cardinal pitching phenon, Rick Ankiel, suddenly couldn’t throw a strike and had to be sent to minor leagues (and came back an outfielder).

Biles has been such a phenomenal athlete and has always enjoyed tremendous success that I believe the sudden adversity was something new to her. I have every belief that she will figure it out and again have confidence doing her spectacular gymnastics. IMO, she knew she could not perform at her normal level and made the right decision to raise her hand and have someone replace her.
 

PF5

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Jan 3, 2014
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#98
I think you may be elevating the Biles situation larger than what it is. Biles herself said her mental health was fine. Mental health is like physical health — an bruised ankle is not on the level as a torn ligament and not on the same level as heart disease. Mental health is wide ranging. She said her issue was dealing with expectations because she was not having confidence in her twists.
possibly so, but I get upset when dealing/talking about mental health...
"I have to put my pride aside. I have to do what’s right for me and focus on my mental health and not jeopardize my health and well-being. That’s why I decided to take a step back."
I was also thinking about her earlier struggles with mental health:
-Biles was traumatized during her early childhood in Spring, Texas, when her birth mother became unable to care for her and her three siblings. The foursome went in and out of foster care.
-Biles was bullied at school. In an appearance on the “Today” show four years ago, she recalled that classmates would make derogatory comments about her athletic figure.
-Biles was treated by a sports psychologists at 16.
-hackers exposed her as having ADHD, a condition for which she was prescribed medication.
-In 2018, Biles revealed she was one of the many female gymnasts who accused team doctor Larry Nassar of molestation.
Besides saying the abuse brought about suicidal thoughts.
“Most of you know me as a happy, giggly and energetic girl. But lately … I’ve felt a bit broken and the more I try to shut off the voice in my head the louder it screams,” Biles wrote.
 
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#99
I wonder how much the isolation from her support system while she has been in Tokyo could have affected her? I don't know if her parents / grandparents typically travel with her, but them being there may have helped.
 
Mar 11, 2006
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I don’t agree with Mahar on many issues, but he nails “cancel culture” and “culture appropriation” in this monologue.
https://twitter.com/billmaher/status/1421335013446938625?s=21