Over the last week we have seen the best and the worst side of sport.

Many became experts overnight and were quick to criticise. I found myself listening to conversations between people who have never actually been in the situations they were observing from the comfort of their sofa. As an athlete I know it is one thing talking about it, and a whole other thing doing it.

As I sat watching last weekend’s big sporting events unravel, I found myself thinking back to a column I wrote a few weeks ago about athletes being humans first then athletes second.

They are not just athletes. Sport is just something they do.

How do sporting bodies reinforce this message? Where do we start? Is it something we start at grassroots or do we wait until these athletes are on the world stage?

I feel we are working from the latter and this can be seen from the rise in mental health issues within sport. This is something manager Gareth Southgate has addressed very well within the England team.

It could be seen right up until the players took their medals off as quickly as they were presented with them. I think we can forgive them for this as a heat of the moment emotion to losing out in such a cruel way.

However, I do feel it put out the wrong message to young kids watching.

And this brings me back to developing the person before developing the athlete. Why should this be important?

On a personal level I have been forced through cancer and paralysis to step back and develop more than just the athlete in me. It has been that inner work that has got me through cancer and given me the ability to manage life’s daily stresses.

 One of the top performers in the world of sport when it comes to managing their mind is without doubt Novak Djokovic.

Whether you are a fan or not, his mental approach to performing under pressure is something we can all learn from and as he won another Grand Slam title last weekend it made me reflect on a paper I read where he was quoted as saying one of his favourite books was The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I keep a copy of this book next to my bed and on audio so I can listen to it daily.

It is clear once you have read this book that Djokovic uses the wisdom in it when he is on court.

Sport psychologists say  optimal performance happens when the athletes are in the moment and this is what this book is all about. It gives the reader the wisdom and guidance of how to get out of their mind and into the present.

If you looked closely at Jorginho and his missed penalty, you would see him take a gulp before taking it. Was he living off a past experience or a future that didn’t yet exist? What was he thinking at that moment?

However, as I said, it is easy to comment when it is not you taking the penalty.

What can we learn from Djokovic about managing high pressure in our life?

He practises mindfulness and meditation and is known to visit Buddhist temples when playing in Wimbledon. He is also a master at bringing his focus into the body and out of the situation he faces.

However, one of the most powerful things I heard him say was for athletes to remember why they got into the sport. It is easy to get caught up in the business of sport, but behind every athlete there is a young child who had a dream. He reminds us that we must stay connected to that child.

 When I was in Jamaica, I drove past where Raheem Sterling was born. It is one of the poorest areas of Kingston made up of board houses that likely have no water and steal electricity from the passing cables.

This was a young boy born into poverty where his dad was shot dead when he was just two. His mum then left him to create a better life in London where she could finally call for him to come and live.

And to see him rise to become a world superstar is a testament to both the power of sport and the power of a dream.

This young boy lived in the shadow of Wembley, yet last Sunday he played in the European Championship final there, inspiring children all over the world.

That idea is bigger than what team any of us supported.  So what followed that game? The racist abuse aimed at England’s penalty takers who missed, Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho, really affected me.

I asked myself why it saddened me so much. And it was because I don’t just see a footballer, I see a human. I see the child who had a dream.

It reminded me of driving past the children in that part of Kingston playing football with no shoes.

To go through so much, to achieve that dream, then face such abuse is a very sad moment for humanity.