Novak Djokovic thinks opening up about personal struggles is a powerful move and definitely “not a sign of weakness.” Over the last few years, there has been a bigger emphasis on the importance of athletes’ good mental health and well-being.
During his pre-tournament press conference at the Rome Masters, Djokovic explained that difficult periods and rough patches are something everyone experiences. “I think it’s important to understand that we all are human beings, and we all go through our own difficulties and challenges and obstacles.
It’s okay not to be okay, as well. I’ve seen that quote somewhere. I think it’s a really simple way of kind of expressing really great wisdom of life. We all talk today about you got to be so strong, you got to be always at your best.
When you go through difficulties, especially as a man, you are going to be judged and criticized for maybe expressing things that you feel, that you want to share, because you cannot be weak. It’s a sign of weakness. I actually think it’s the contrary.
It’s a great feeling of liberation when you cry, when you let things go, when you express your emotions,” Djokovic said, per the Rome Masters website.
Djokovic on how to get out of a difficult period
Experiencing burnout as a pro athlete isn’t something uncommon in today’s age.
Djokovic, who will be turning 36 on May 22nd, has been able to stay motivated and at the top of tennis for a very long time. When it gets difficult and rough, Djokovic thinks returning to the basics and reminding yourself why you started the journey could be the key.
“I feel that most of the people can actually relate to that because I don’t know anybody that is perfect, that is not going through any difficulty in life mentally, emotionally. We all go through that regardless of our profession, the level we are at, the success level, the society roles that we have.
There is a lot of labelling, a lot of different things that are happening. I think it’s important to go back to the basics really and understand why you started to do what you do, which for me in this case is tennis and professional sport that I always dreamed of playing,” Djokovic explained.