Volleyball. “At home it’s the mind that will let go first”: the weariness of Olympic champion Jean Patry

8:00 a.m., September 5, 2022

Jean Patry rethinks ” all the time “ at the Tokyo Olympics. From the last point of the final to the reception of his relatives in Vialas (Lozère) with smoke bombs and a “Jean Patron” banner which amused him a lot. There was also “Patry it’s not sad”, but this one is further from reality. “I am a little melancholy”confided the sharp of the France team before the start of the World Cup, perfectly attacked this week and which continues Monday with the 8th final against Japan (9 p.m., the L’Équipe channel).

At the end of June, between two stages of a triumphant League of Nations, the Blues spent a few days on the island of Okinawa, in the hotel where the preparation for the Olympics had taken place. This stay made “to bring up a lot of things”. Looking back on the summer of 2021, Patry felt like “out of [sa] life to go live something crazy. A high-level athlete who has already left for other adventures, he must fight against the impression of having “experienced the peak of [sa] career “. Only 25 years old.

He has a bit of a grudge against the Federation, which “mistakes a lot on communication”

He did not watch the final in its entirety, but friends told him that we heard his first and last name repeated dozens of times. Jean Patry, as a registered trademark. This day of glory, he used it “in the most complicated times” who punctuated the post-Olympic season. Heavy fatigue and insufficient fallout. He has a bit of a grudge against the Federation (FFvolley), which, according to him, “mistakes a lot on communication” around a team “which pleases a lot”.“Volley-hotel-sleep, that’s not enough, you have to show more than that” to maintain the flame between now and Paris 2024. He would be ready to be followed daily by cameras, “even if it is more restrictive”.

Read also – Volleyball: the Italian coach of the France team, Andrea Giani, wants to ward off his curse of the Olympics

Striker passed by Montpellier, number 9 on the Milan jersey, his club since 2020: his CV evokes another. ” Olivier Giroud ? I recognize myself in his simplicity and humility,” appreciates Jean Patry. He was sitting in the Mosson stadium the evening the footballer became French champion with the MHSC in 2012. In Lombardy, he did not seek to meet the Rossonero, “surely in another sphere”. Last season, Patry went to see three matches of the future Italian champions. Once invited, twice by paying for his place.

When he talks about his sharp job, he attracts lost looks. “Volleyball is a bit technical but you don’t have to understand everything to love it. » Strikes at 130 km / h, bodies thrown on the ground, blocks at the net: “It’s spectacular. » The Olympic champion thinks there is “a real place to take” in the hearts of the spectators but that “It won’t go away on its own”.

Thinking about it, he tells himself that he has “close to depression”

If Jean Patry looks in a hurry, it’s because time is playing against the volleyball players, bodies martyred by a frenetic pace. “It’s complicated physically but for me it’s the mind that will let go first”, he said with sincerity. He unfolds the infernal summer of the Blues, even before the start of the World Cup: two weeks in Canada then a day and a half of respite before returning to the Philippines; the internship in Okinawa to prepare for a round of the League of Nations in Japan; forty-eight hours to breathe before the next stage in Italy. There, finally, ten days of rest, ” the maximum “. “Summers like that, I won’t do a lot. » For the five years that he has been called up for selection, only the summer of 2020 has been calm. Thanks to the Covid, he is surprised to say. “I’m already going to try to go to Paris. Then I will decrease little by little if nothing changes. »

Recently, the International Federation (FIVB) brought together captains to improve travel conditions and study the establishment of a summer break. “Leaders listen but don’t necessarily act”, regrets Patry, citing several players who are victims of exhaustion, even burnout. He dreads the day when volleyball players will not have ” do not want anymore “, by dint of being solicited “like machines”.

In the locker room, mental health is a concern. Patry is surprised that there is no mental trainer in the tricolor staff. He had undertaken psychological work during his last season in Montpellier (2018-2019). The daily pressure destabilized him, his retreats in the Lozère nature reassured him a little. Thinking about it, he tells himself that he has “close to depression”.

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Volleyball. “At home it’s the mind that will let go first”: the weariness of Olympic champion Jean Patry

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