Eberl wants to “stop restlessness”

Borussia monchengladbach : eberl wants to "stop restlessness"

Max Eberl (r) is quitting Borussia Monchengladbach after almost a quarter of a century as a professional soccer player and official

dusseldorf max eberl has publicly announced his exit from overheated soccer – like others before him who wanted to leave. sports psychiatrist valentin markser praises eberl’s move.

By ulf zimmermann, dpa

Max eberl probably deliberately chose the big stage in order to step down from the big stage.

"i know i’m not going to bring back the fast pace, i’m not going to be able to stop this restlessness that’s around us all. I can stop it for myself and that’s what I’m doing right now," said the 48-year-old. almost a quarter of a century as a professional soccer player and official at borussia monchengladbach and in the hectic billion-dollar business of soccer have worn eberl down.

Eberl showed gratitude on the one hand, but on the other hand also criticized what he once called his life. Thus the excesses in social media, in which insults, judgments or condemnations are made before you yourself "haven’t even said a word yet". It remains to be seen whether max eberl will return at some point.

Others before him found their way back into the spotlight after they too had clearly articulated the negative effects of their work in soccer. For example, ottmar hitzfeld wanted to take a sabbatical after his time at FC Bayern in 2003, or ralf rangnick in 2011 at FC Schalke 04. "i felt it was coming to an end overall – because you no longer have the energy, no longer have the strength," hitzfeld once said on sky. Hitzfeld wanted to take a sabbatical after winning the CL final in 2001, but uli hoeneb forbade him to do so. hitzfeld also turned down an offer to coach the national team. Later he "regained his appetite" and became swiss national coach.

Rangnick revealed suffering from burnout – and successfully led the RB leipzig project after his return. Now he is team manager at manchester united.

Sports psychiatrist praises eberl’s move

Eberl’s appearance is seen as a gesture of great strength by sports psychiatrist valentin markser. "not jumping off a 10-meter tower or boxing on with a double fracture of the jaw is about mental strength. For me, talking about yourself and your feelings and keeping an eye on them is the real mental strength," markser told the deutsche presse-agentur on saturday.

Markser, a professional handball player who once won the german championship and european cup with vfl gummersbach, sat on the board of trustees of the robertenke foundation for eight years. the former national keeper enke suffered from depression and took his own life in 2009. Markser founded the German Society for Sports Psychiatry and Psychotherapy (DGSSP) and has been working for years to make his discipline an integral part of prevention in professional sports.

Sports psychologists, like doctors or physiotherapists, are an integral part of professional clubs. only, according to markser, sports psychologists, who "do outstanding work," are mainly concerned with competition preparation and mental training. "They are not trained for mental health," markser emphasizes. They are only sports psychiatrists. For the psychiatrist, prevention and early detection are essential for a long career, as is stress management in the physical area.

"this is insanity. We’re all on a merry-go-round. And it’s spinning faster and faster," sebastian deisler once declared. The once greatest hope in german soccer suffered from injuries and depression – in 2007 he ended his career at the age of only 27 years.

Consciously chosen sabbaticals

In recent years, the deliberate sabbaticals of pep guardiola (2012) and thomas tuchel (2014) have also been remarkable. World stars naomi osaka (tennis) and simone biles (gymnastics) gave deep insights into their souls during their retreats. This is not the only reason why valentin markser sees himself strengthened in his belief that sports psychiatry will become part of the overall medical care in professional sports "in the next 10, 20, 30 years".

Nevertheless, says markser, the "destigmatization" of psychiatry is tenacious, despite prominent events such as osaka and biles. The DGSSP will be offering a training program in march (4). Up to 6. March) at the olympia museum in cologne the training course "fundamentals of mental health in competitive sports. Invitations were sent out to all 36 clubs in the 1. And 2. Soccer Bundesliga. Feedback on this according to markser so far: none.

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Christina Cherry
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