Tennis Star Mardy Fish – Mental Health hero

Tennis Star Mardy Fish – Mental Health hero

 

“Mental health is a battle but I win everyday.”

For #WorldMentalHealthDay I watched Untold: Breaking Point on Netflix. It’s an extraordinary 10/10 story of US Tennis player Mardy Fish & his mental health battles. An incredible portrait of the impact of the pressure of being the #1 US Tennis player & Fish went to personal hell and back to manage his Anxiety Disorder to become a great person and mentor today.
 
My takeaways:
 
1. His friendship with his main rival Andy Roddick who supports him unequivocally has given me a new view of Roddick. Although he had amazing battles with Andy, Fish lived with Roddick’s family for a year, which blew my mind.

2. Pro Tennis is a tough lonely existence and this story provides a topical lens to Naomi Osaka’s mental health issues this year and that mental health should be prioritised in all pro sports.

3. Its important we talk about mental health and if you have ever wanted to understand or teach friends or family what mental health challenges are really like, this is a valuable and relatable tool to help de-stigmatise the struggle. It also provides lots of additional insights including the power of a supporting partner.

4. Anyone prone to abusing sports stars on social media would benefit from watching this and see the impact of their contribution

5. Strength and vulnerability are not mutually exclusive. Fish suffered at the pinnacle of his career and his story will be inspiring for anyone suffering anxiety.

6. Cool to learn more about Mardy Fish, a former US Davis Cup captain who got to #7 in the world. A fascinating character that you can’t help but cheer for especially as he tries to push through at the 2012 US Open. His desire to help others who are similarly affected including Naomi Osaka is uplifting.

Fish is a true champion on and off the court, a testament to the power of vulnerability and he shared his reaction on social media to the doco: “Thank you to all of you that have watched and reached out to share similar stories. It’s so important to know you are not alone in your mental health struggles. Win every day!”

 

Tennis Star Mardy Fish

 

Untold: Breaking Point is a must watch – a brave, beautifully told and deeply moving story that is a timely reminder of Plato’s guide for life: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

 

Image source: Ubitennis and Sky Sports

 

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Patrick Skene

Patrick Skene is a founder and Chief Creative Officer of Cultural Pulse. Patrick works with over 100 communities and creates compelling content for clients to engage with them. He is a storyteller, marketer, writer and author of ‘The Big O, The Life & Times of Olsen Filipaina‘ which has gone into reprint. His stories on the intersection of sport, history and culture have been published by The Guardian Australia, the Age, the Sydney Morning Herald and Inside Sport. He is currently the proud coach of the Rockdale Raiders Under 8B1’s football team.