Lions coach De Bruin opens up about the treatment he has been undergoing

09 May 2019 - 16:10 By Liam Del Carme
Swys de Bruin (coach) of the Lions during the Super Rugby match between Emirates Lions and Jaguares at Emirates Airline Park on March 09, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Swys de Bruin (coach) of the Lions during the Super Rugby match between Emirates Lions and Jaguares at Emirates Airline Park on March 09, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

Lions coach Swys de Bruin admitted on Thursday that he is a control freak and that the environment he grew up in didn’t allow victims of stress to recognise it‚ let alone seek treatment.

De Bruin on Thursday opened up about the treatment he has been undergoing since returning home early from the Lions’ tour of Australasia due to a stress.

Last month De Bruin flew home before the Lions’ match against the Chiefs to seek treatment but he returned to his post on Monday.

“I get professional help. It is something I realise it is something that does happen‚ if you don’t look after it. I’m feeling so good‚” said De Bruin as he candidly fronted the media.

There had been speculation why De Bruin suddenly returned from the tour but the coach explained that his condition had developed over time.

“I didn’t realise it‚" he said.

"I think in most cases you don’t see it coming. I take stuff to heart and I make stuff personal.

That’s what happened. It’s not something that happens over a day or two but comes over a long period.

“To pinpoint particular stuff is not going to solve anything. For me it’s about how do I react when it happens.

"I’m getting professional help not to get over excited when things happen and I can’t control it. I didn’t realise I’m a control freak and if I can’t control stuff then it affects me. I’m learning how to control stuff now.”

He went on to explain that he is in no way unique.

He intimated that the condition is allowed to fester partly due to the machismo environment a high proportion of men grow up in.

“It’s weird. Growing up‚ especially in this country‚ you are (deemed) a bad guy when you can’t take a hammering and stress‚" he said.

"To be honest‚ I just realised through this whole thing it happens to so many guys.

"I’m just thankful that I can sit here. I’ve learnt that if you want to be a good leader you have to have the ability to stand back so that the other guys can lead until you are ready to lead.”

De Bruin has had to revise his expectations for how long he will require therapy.

“I was hoping it would be‚ but it is not‚” he said when asked whether he is already able to put it all behind him.

“I see professional help again next week and the week after. It is working already.

"I’ve been challenged twice this week. I applied one or two of the techniques and I’m feeling ready to go.”

De Bruin‚ who last year became part of the Springbok set-up as attack coach‚ said he remains in that position.

“It is all fine and with the Springboks. I’ll go to the World Cup as attack coach. We are all good to go.”

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