Finding understanding with a struggling player
Victor Olofsson was a healthy scratch Monday night in Toronto and while it was time for it to happen, it's easy to sympathize with a player in his position.
TORONTO — There’s a level of discomfort that can occur in sports when you get to know the athletes as regular people like you and I as opposed to players on the team I want to win. It’s important for us in this role to be able to have normal, everyday interactions with the players because otherwise it’s a very cold reality. One of mutual common use, a means to an end.
To best understand a player’s motivations that lie outside of winning games and championships you have to know them. Those kinds of reporter-athlete relationships can be difficult to form because, let’s face it, we’re all guarded in ways and athletes have plenty of reason to not want to open up in full to those of us writing about them. But even on the most basic level you each get to know each other and there can be levels of sympathy, or in some situations empathy, for the players.
Those kinds of feelings come out most often when the player has a close relative pass away or a terrible health diagnosis that reminds us that, yes, they are no different than you or I apart from their supreme ability in their sport. Breaking that down into the more common, maybe mundane, way and sympathizing for a player going through a slump or being frustrated with how they’re playing can be more difficult to identify with because we’ll never be professional athletes being paid a lot of money to play games at an elite level.
This brings us to Victor Olofsson.
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