Recently, I asked a sport psychologist this question:
‘In terms of criticism from the media that athletes do face, so does it have any useful basis if it comes from a non-professional?’
“Possibly. I think having context of the sport can be helpful, because you can relate to some of the experiences and build that empathy with them.
“[An ex-professional] can probably understand some of the unique challenges that come with being an elite sportsperson. There are inevitably stresses in every work, a different set of stresses and challenges that come with it, so being able to recognise and appreciate them [helps].
“Equally, the sports that I have worked in, sometimes that naivety is really helpful, because you can ask different questions and be really curious without any bias, prejudices, prior knowledge and curiosity is a really important value to have. There can be pros and cons.”