Understanding your challenges  

In May, we conducted a survey across the Athlete365 community of athletes, entourage members and other stakeholders, to understand the challenges you are facing in this current climate. More than 4,000 of you from 135 countries completed the survey, which highlights the most important issues that you have been dealing with during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

  • Our survey revealed that more than 50 per cent of you have been finding it hard to train and to stay motivated during this period.  
  • The survey was conducted in eight languages, ensuring a truly global response.  
  • To access the full survey results, click here.  

In response to the question, What are you currently finding most challenging?, 56 per cent of you said that you were finding it hard to train effectively, while 50 per cent said you were struggling to keep motivated.  

Managing your mental health and managing your sports careers (both 32 per cent) were the next two biggest challenges, followed by managing your nutrition and diet (30 per cent). Isolation from the wider athlete community (29 per cent) and funding your sports career (27 per cent) were also revealed to be challenges impacting a significant number of you.  

Everything I’m struggling with is linked together 
“It is very hard to train due to many of the restrictions,” said one elite athlete from South Africa who took the survey. “Training adds structure to my life, and I feel that the lack of structure without training is negatively affecting my mental health. Everything I’m struggling with is linked together. They can’t be viewed as separate.” 

Gain advice from two of the world’s best, Olympic champions Eliud Kipchoge and Aksel Lund Svindalwho provided their unique insight and advice on how to stay motivated and reach your goals. 

There was a good age demographic among the 3,289 athletes who completed responses, with 61 per cent identifying as elite athletes, 30 per cent as youth athletes and 9 per cent as retired athletes.   

Challenges for entourage members 

We also opened the survey to entourage members and other stakeholders, to better understand the challenges that they and the athletes they are working or communicating with are facing.  

Of the 528 entourage members who completed the survey, 63 per cent said they were finding it hard to keep their athletes motivated. The next two biggest challenges were planning training for their athletes (56 per cent) and supporting their athletes’ mental health (40 per cent). 

“Keeping the spirits high for athletes during this unpredictable situation, with no clear deadline for when we can go back to train,” answered one entourage member from Luxembourg about the biggest challenge they are currently facing. 

Sign up for our webinar on 16 June with sports psychiatrist Dr Claudia Reardon, who will be talking about how athletes and entourage members can stay #MentallyFit during this difficult time. 

wide-ranging, global response 

A total of 272 stakeholders also completed the survey, and revealed that responding to athlete requests (50 per cent) and reaching athletes with information (47 per centwere proving challenging, along with their most significant challenge: reorganising competitions and events (69 per cent). Of those stakeholders, 72 per cent were from National Federations, 17 per cent from National Olympic Committees and 11 per cent from International Federations.  

The survey was translated into eight languages and attracted a truly global response, with respondents coming from 135 countries and all continents. The countries best represented in the survey were Brazil (12 per cent), Italy (11 per cent), Germany (9 per cent), India (8 per cent), Japan (7 per cent) and the USA (7 per cent). Click here to access the survey results 

Athlete365 resources and further reading 
Here are some articles and resources we’ve already created that will help support you in relation to areas identified from the survey, as we continue to tailor our support to help you: 

Isolation from the wider athlete community: British yachtswoman Dee Caffari has spent up to six months alone at sea while sailing around the world, so is expertly placed to offer you advice about coping with isolation 
Staying motivated: Team NL’s Performance Manager in Performance Behaviour, Paul Wylleman, has some top tips to help you stay motivated and stay positive during this time. 
Funding your sports career: we have partnered with Airbnb to create an opportunity to help you with that. 
EntourageDr Karen Cogan has some advice for entourage members about how best to support athletes during this period.