Phillip Sjoeen takes a break from competition
Norwegian youngster Phillip Sjoeen has decided to take a break from competition due to mental problems and will therefore also not be participating in the national championships this weekend.
"I could not recover anymore. I was thinking about ski jumping too much. It consumed all my time", the 19-year-old told the Norwegian newspaper "VG".
At the beginning of the summer season Sjoeen was competing in the FIS Grand Prix, a ninth place in Einsiedeln was his best result. The problems already showed during these few weeks on the road. "I was not able to enjoy it anymore and I felt no joy. That's why I decided, together with the coaches, that I will be training alone. It's a mix of a lack of motivation and energy. I've never experienced that before and that's why we take it seriously."
Phillip Sjoeen doesn't know yet how long this break will be. He wants to take the time he need and is not thinking about an early career end. "I'm training fully and concerning the technique my jumps are good. Nobody knows how long it will take until I'm completely ready again. I don't want to stress myself. This is the best solution in the long term."
Head coach Alexander Stoeckl supports his athlete in his decision to not compete right now and considers the life of an elite athlete, that can be demanding especially for young jumpers due to all the traveling involved, a possible reason for these problems.
"Being a ski jumper on the national team on this level can become a burden. There is a lot of interest from the media and the people might be interested in the sport, but not in the person. A good ski jumper can be forced into a certain image. This can become a challenge", the Austrian is quoted on vg.no.