Thea Rogers gives us an insight into the highs and lows of elite level archery and how it impacted on her mental health.
I have dealt with Mental Health Problems and have found that it mainly comes from the pressures that athletes and others put on them. I know that mental health hasn't been a common subject in the past but more and more people are opening up about their mental state.
I want to make people aware that just because an athlete performs well, doesn't mean that's how they are always going to perform. Being an athlete at the top of your game is always going to be difficult, because of the amount of pressure that you face from others, and possibly yourself. The expectations from others to perform well can cause unwanted stress.
I have found that people tend to look at the target when top archers are shooting and expect them to shoot 10's all day every day. If this is not the case they instantly say " Oh, something's wrong! It's not like them to shoot like that!". Others need to appreciate that an athlete is constantly working to improve their performance. They may train really hard but the outcome won't necessarily show straight away. Everyone is on their own journey and are at different stages.
I know how difficult it is to have these feelings and I strongly advise anyone going through the same thing to talk about it. Talk to your coach, family, or friends or you may find it easier to talk to someone independant, that has no preconceptions of your journey. It's ok to show your emotions and any worries. By doing this you allow yourself the opportunity for someone to help you.
For me, speaking out has really helped. Due to my experiences, I decided to become an Archery GB Ambassador. My role is to promote archery but most importantly, to help others with similar problems.