Tom Brady feels for you, Naomi Osaka.
You too, Simone Biles.
The man with a record seven Super Bowl championship rings has surely noticed and on some levels can relate to the high-profile struggles two of the world’s most successful athletes have encountered this summer, which have raised awareness about the challenges of coping with immense pressure.
Osaka, 23, withdrew from the French Open in May while citing mental health issues, skipped Wimbledon and, after a third-round upset on Friday in attempting to defend her U.S. Open singles title, tearfully announced that she will take an indefinite break from the sport.
Biles, 24, pulled out of four individual finals during the Tokyo Olympics before returning to win a bronze medal in the balance beam final. A seven-time Olympic medalist, Biles hasn’t declared whether she will continue competing.
“It’s interesting,” Brady told USA TODAY Sports in August. “I think there are so many young people in sports. Obviously, Naomi’s really young. Simone’s really young. I’m 44. When I was 24, I certainly didn’t have all the answers to all the different pressures and the adversities that you face. I don’t know if we have expectations for people that we should have all the answers, have all things figured out at young ages.
“It’s very difficult to deal with a lot of things that are thrust upon you when you have a degree of success. Things in your family dynamics change. You’re still learning and growing. You’re going through a lot at 21, 22, 23, 24, just as a human being. And now you’re dealing with it on the world stage. So, there’s absolutely challenges to be dealt with and adversities to overcome at that age. Even at 44, you’re dealing with different things and adversities. And now you have kids, wives and off-field stuff like we all do in our careers. So, life has its challenges for all of us. You just hope that people can manage them and get through them in as healthy way of a way as possible and that you can learn from them and that they make you into a more self-aware person. And that’s obviously what I hope for Simone and Naomi.”
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SOURCE: USA Today, Jarrett Bell