Michael Schumacher Mercedes F1-Team
What makes Sports Stars come back?
Why Michael Schumacher returns to the F-1 ? (SPOX, 3.10.2010)
41 years old and soon coming back to the F-1 cockpit: Schumi - and he is not the only one. What makes many sports stars come back? Why are soccer players an exception?
Newcomer at 41 years. On January 3, Michael Schumacher celebrates his 41st birthday and ten weeks later, he will start at the Formula 1 race in Bahrain after three and a half years of abstinence.
It was the biggest comeback in recent months, but not the only one. Why do so many successful athletes come back ? A psychological phenomenon, that SPOX discusses with experts.
A perfect Comeback
That's what Michael Schumacher was dreaming of, since he found out in autumn 2009 that Mercedes worked on putting together a Formula 1 factory team with his old technical director Ross Brawn.
"Michael Schumacher has never let go of racing after the career, but spent time in motorsports" said sports psychologist and ex-tennis pro Eva Pfaff to SPOX.
Comebacks of extremely successful athletes are frequent. It's no coincidence, there are reasons for it.
"An athlete somehow depends on his sports. If he competes in sports from childhood on, they live and love it. Therefore, it's very difficult to let go," says Pfaff. "And the more success an athlete has in his sports, the more the passion increases."
Michael Schumacher Racing
THE MORE SUCCESSFULL THE MORE VULNERABLE
Athletes almost always fall into a hole, when they finish their career. When they are successful at the time of withdrawal, they drop from more height.
Pfaff explains: "If athletes stop at a peak, the probability of a comeback seems to be higher. They have never lost the fun competing, but mostly claim to be mentally or physically tired. But when athletes are on the wane towards the end of the career - and therefore are less competitive - they tend to lose the desire altogether ".
Striving for No. 1 in Life after sports
In a case like Schumacher, who has competed for the world title until the last race in his last season in 2006 , a flame still blazes inside the racers heart.
And therein lie the seeds comeback thoughts. "The passion for the sport and the ambition for it lead to an identification with it. With the resignation there is loss of role, equivalent to retirement in professional life. Even if a former athlete finds another more or less important role, he loses the sports related prestige and recognition for his achievements in the public eye, "says Pfaff.
Mercedes F-1 New Team
(The offer from Mercedes is) another catalyst for a comeback. "Top athletes like Schumacher have the bonus that they can directly come back at the high level they stopped at. Through their former status, they don't have to work laboriously to reach the top. This makes the charm of comebacks greater. And Schumacher probably would not come back if he could only start in Formula 2 or GP2.", says Pfaff.
Schumi - Come Back !!!
SCHUMI DECIDES SPONTANEOUSLY
Schumacher has the luxury to come back into the World Champion car. But that was not the main reason for his return. Rather, he wanted to collaborate with his old companion, and relive the feeling from befor
Similarly, the failure happened with the Ferrari comeback in the summer. Schumi wanted to help his old buddies in an emergency. Just because. Spontaneously. Actually, that doesn't apply to the nature of a mostly calculated racer.
"The athlete listens to his gut feeling"
But it's typical for a Comebacker. "The idea of a comeback arises mostly by gut decision," says Pfaff. "The media discuss comebacks more rational, the athlete concerned listens to his gut feeling. The motivation comes from the inside and the passion for the sport prevails all theoretically negative aspects are pushed back."
Why footballers rarely come back ?
"Comebacks in an individual sports are simple in my opinion, because an athlete can determine the steps himself," explains Pfaff. "Once a football player leaves a team, it seems more difficult than for a single athlete, to come back. Because the structure of a team is constantly evolving, comebacks in team sports appear much more complicated."