The mental aspect is a big part of the darts sport. Sometimes this part is too big and causes problems. Darts players like Luke Humphries, Diogo Portela and Keegan Brown recently came out with their mental health problems, but also in The Netherlands it is an issue. Levy Frauenfelder, one of the biggest talents of The Netherlands, tells his story.
[The full video can be seen below in Dutch]
Levy Frauenfelder played for years in the national youth team of The Netherlands and has been winning many medals at the WDF World Cup and WDF Europe Cup tournaments. The 19-year old player from Oss qualified multiple times in a row for the PDC Youth Championsip as well. The darts talent of Frauenfelder is a fact, but sometimes there are just too much struggles.
Every day in Levy’s life was about darts. Almost every day in the week was spendend on playing leagues, tournaments and practise. Slowly all of this became too much. Frauenfelder fell – also because of non-darts related happenings in his life – in a depression. This started about three years ago and has not been resolved to this day. Frauenfelder: ”I came home at 5:30 after waking up early as well, quickly ate something, and than went somewhere to play darts again. In the weekends I always played tournaments, and during the week I played in multiple leagues. I wanted to do everything to make my dream come true: become a professional darts player. From that moment onwards, it slowly turned towards the wrong side mentally.”
The most difficult part about mental health problems is to recognize and acknowledge the problem. Frauenfelder did not think he had any problems at first: ”I wasn’t noticing anything arising, it went automatically. At that time I already had a sports psychologist to talk to. This was already a big step because I don’t like talking about problems. The psychologist said I already had a burn-out and to take it more easy. At the time I was very stubborn and did not take his opinion as something valuable. This only got me deeper in my problems.”
Frauenfelder acknowledges his problem and feels free to talk about his depression. He is doing everything to solve his mental health issues. Frauenfelder continues: ”A month ago I started talking to a new sports psychologist, someone who I already knew and am sure he will help me. Talking to a psychologist makes talking about my struggles with other people easier as well. I found out that it’s not weak to talk about your problems and that it’s good to inform your close one about your issues.”
In his interview Frauenfelder tries to reach the whole darts community. Although he is working hard to find a ‘cure’ for his depression, he wants to warn other darts players: ”It is important to realise that your problems won’t go away out of a sudden. They will stay if you are not doing anything about it. Talk about your struggles with your friends and family or, if necessary, with me. It’s very important to raise the alarm about your mental health issues and to not let it grow like I did.
Watch the (Dutch) interview below.