Chelsea FC Women boss Emma Hayes has spoken about coping with anxiety throughout this unprecedented time and believes the Women’s Super league should return only when it is completely safe to do so…
Hayes is used to coaching her squad day in, day out at our Cobham training ground, and while she has had to adapt to a huge lifestyle shift since the coronavirus outbreak, she has plenty of positives to take from it.
‘My life has changed, I have gone from a full-time coach and a mum to a full-time mum and a coach from afar,' Hayes said.
‘That’s a real life change that I can honestly say I’m enjoying because I get to spend time with my son.
‘It’s an important time for me to bond with him and I suspect when I return to work it will be challenging emotionally for both of us because we’re with each other 24/7.
‘I view it as an opportunity and one that I’m grateful for and every day I count my blessings that I’m healthy.
‘I’m very conscious of how much suffering is taking place, not just key workers but those that are suffering with the virus and I view this time as one of great fortune.’
Despite the positive aspect of spending time with her young child, Harry, Hayes has opened up about her fear of the virus spreading and the challenges that may lie ahead when she returns to work.
She said: ‘Like most people, I have fear and anxiety of what is happening and how quickly that will spread and affect the people in and around us. It is a really anxious and unnerving time and I’ve had a lot of disturbed sleep.
‘We have a lot of support staff on a daily basis that are guiding the players for the things that are within their control physically.
‘The mental health component will range and we won’t necessarily know the full impact of that until the players return because we’re talking about something here that affects every single aspect of our lives and the people around us.
‘I’m absolutely conscious that there will be a lot of mental health issues that we have to support and I’m not just talking about the players.’
The WSL season, along with the rest of professional football in England, has been on hold since 13 March.
Hayes has guided Chelsea to the league title twice in 2015 and 2018, and the Blues are in contention to clinch the trophy for a third time, currently sitting in second place with one game in hand.
‘The league and teams within it are assessing scenarios that when it’s safe enough to start we’re as prepared as we can be. But I think we are way off this yet,' Hayes added.
‘We have to align ourselves with the men’s professional game, we’re a professional sport and if we want to strive towards the same things as the men’s game then we have to do the same.
‘Hopefully it resumes because we would like some closure to it but if it doesn’t, I won’t battle those things – I just hope that when the time is right to resume, that we can all do it in a safe way.’
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