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About Beyond the Outcome

Beyond the Outcome is a searchable collection of articles about current topics in athlete mental health. I hope this helps you as an athlete or coach in developing awareness of mental health and reducing the stigma associated with it. 

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How to Prevent Burnout in Your Workout Routine and Recover From It

In recent years, professional athletes like tennis star Naomi Osaka and Olympic champion Alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin have become increasingly open about prioritizing their mental health and taking time off to reset.

But it’s not just Olympians or elite athletes who need a break. Everyday athletes can experience burnout from training and exercise.

“I think sometimes weekend warriors can overdo it,” said Jennifer Lager, a licensed clinical psychologist with a private practice in McLean, Va. “This isn’t their life, so sometimes they have limited time to work out. And so they try to be very intense about it, and maybe not listening to their body or respecting where their body is at.”...

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Bethany`s Notes: A great article that discusses burnout, specifically what causes it, the symptoms to look for, how to prevent it and how to recover from it. A must read for the week.

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NCAA Puts Enhanced Focus on College Athletes` Mental Health

.....A recent survey reveals student athletes are most worried about academics and planning for their future and finances.

St. Petersburg College (SPC) freshman Olivia Delancy says the move will impact college athletes.

Delancy excels on the basketball court, leading the Titans in scoring.

“I love the rush of it, really,” said the 18-year-old, who practices up to six days a week.

But that rush she gets from the game can also cause her stress.
“Having a bad game, it’s at the top of the list, or a rough practice,” said Delancy. “This is my job and with this being my job, a bad game affects my mood because this is my job and I want to be good at my job.”
To help student athletes like Olivia be their best both physically and mentally, the NCAA is including the term "mental health" in its constitution, ensuring access to resources on mental health for the first time in its history.

“I feel like as athletes, we’re finally being heard,” said Delancy......

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Bethany`s Notes: Small steps forward from the NCAA as they put the words `mental health` in its constitution. Hearing lots of great work done at many campuses...let`s continue the efforts and support one another.

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The Mental Side of Retirement: How Does it Affect Athletes?

.....Focusing on the sports aspect of retiring, there can be multiple reasons why an athlete has to call it quits. The first reason why an athlete may retire is because time runs out on the athlete. Whether it is a high school athlete who is finished after their four year career, a JUCO athlete being done after two years, or a college athlete done after four years, all these athletes experience a barrier in continuing their competitive career. .....
.....“My guidance to an athlete at the end of their career would be to find meaning and joy in other areas while also preserving the positive values that athletics have given them,” Moskalewski said. “First and foremost, I encourage reflection and celebration of the journey that has come to an end. This can include individual processing or collaborative communication with others who have influenced them along the way. Some things to include in this letter may be: things you are most proud of, important life lessons learned and someone you would like to thank for support.”.....

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Bethany`s Notes: This article talks about the retirement from sport. My favorite quote about retirement has to be from Wayne Gretzky. The former Detroit Red Wings hockey player one said, `they teach you how to play it, but they never teach you how to leave it.` So very true. Here`s hoping to a new generation that can better teach how to leave sport and find other enjoyments in life.

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From Anxiety to Depression, Your Emotional, Psychological and Social Well-Being can Affect Your Physical Health

Twist your ankle and you are likely to tell your friends and family about it. But feel down, depressed or have anxiety and most folks are less likely to talk about it with friends and family. While talking about mental health is becoming more common, we aren’t there yet. People may be concerned about what others may think or not know what help is available. If Olympic athletes, musicians and other famous people can talk about struggles and getting help, we can all do better. Talking openly about mental health can help reduce the stigma over time and increase the likelihood someone will get appropriate support when they need it.....   ...Full Story Here

Bethany`s Notes: A good basic article on mental health and some good signs and symptoms to watch out for in everyone.

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$10 million gift to USOPC won`t only benefit athletes` mental health | Opinion

.....Yucca and Gary Rieschel’s latest gift will help save lives.

The Rieschels are donating $10 million to be used to bolster the USOPC’s mental health program. It follows the couple’s $1.5 million donation for the same purpose in 2020, which was used to hire additional staff psychologists and psychiatrists and create a registry of local providers for athletes.

“It is a bloody epidemic in the United States,” Gary Rieschel told USA TODAY Sports. “… This is a step toward addressing what I think is a problem for this next generation that we literally all have to work to solve. Whether it’s an athlete, whether it’s someone that’s a teacher or a nurse, you should know it’s OK to seek help.

“If part of this messaging reduces that stigma, that’s where we want to be.”.....

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Bethany`s Notes: What a An investment in the future of mental health for those at the elite level and those aspiring to be at the elite level. Thank you Yucca and Gary Rieschel!

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Athlete Shares Experience Retiring, Mental Health

…..Some athletes go on to make their name known on the professional stage, but some do not get as lucky and have to let go of the sport that defined who they were for so much of their life. 

For the athletes who have to give up athletics, the road to finding their new lives can be loaded with obstacles: finding a new sense of self, learning new skills from a beginner level or finding friends outside of sports.

…..After working herself to a regular starter in her first two seasons at Auburn, Dedels lost her starting spot in her junior year and started to see less time. The loss of a starting position forced her to analyze who she was outside of the sport for the first time.

“At that moment, my whole view of myself had changed because I didn’t know how I was contributing to the team anymore.” Dedels said. “That was a really strange thing to go through, because for the first time ever, I had to think about who I was outside of soccer.”

Dedels came to the realization that there would eventually be a time where Auburn soccer would not be her identity anymore….


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Bethany`s Notes: Retirement from sports is real no matter at what level (HS, College, Elite). It is good to discuss this with all athletes to help them find their place outside of soccer.

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Strong bodies and minds: Students organize athlete mental health panel

.....“There are so many mandatory mental health events and meetings that [athletes are] supposed to do, but how much of that is actually helpful?” Lynch said. “Our goal was [to] create more of an interactive, candid environment where people can just have a conversation with these panelists and gauge their input.”

In a conversation led by Greg Shelleysenior director of sports leadership and mental conditioning at Cornell University, the three panelists reflected on their time competing in hopes of offering the audience some valuable pieces of advice in terms of staying mentally healthy while pursuing collegiate athletics.

Whether it was body image, injury psychology or disordered eating, the panel touched on countless topics that have been plaguing student athletes. In a survey conducted by Daniel Eisenberga professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, he found that 33% of all college students experience significant symptoms of depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions. Among that group, 30% ask for help. However, of collegiate athletes with mental health conditions, only 10% seek support......

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Bethany`s Notes: Sometimes having just open conversation can be the most helpful. Consider an upcoming senior night for those graduating and having recently alums come back to talk about the transition (either into college or out of college) and let the seniors ask questions.

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U.S. Student-athletes Aren`t Immune From Suicide Risk. Colleges areTaking Notice.

.......... Student-athletes can also seek free help from the university`s mental health professionals or providers in the community under contract with the University of Wisconsin athletics department. And some women`s cross-country athletes at the school now keep an eye on their teammates when coaches aren`t around, letting the team`s liaison know if they`re concerned about someone`s mental health.

"We don`t want anyone slipping between the cracks," said teammate Maddie Mooney. "It`s a hard time for everybody, and everybody grieves at different paces and processes things differently."

Teammate Victoria Heiligenthal, who shared a house with Shulze, said she avoided talking to campus counselors for months after her close friend died. "I only wanted to be alone or be with my friends who really understood the situation," she said.

Heiligenthal couldn`t bear to stay in the home where she and Shulze had lived, so the university put her and Mooney up in a hotel for a week, and then she stayed awhile at Mooney`s apartment. Once back in her own place, teammates, coaches, training staff, and psychologists checked in on her and Mooney.....

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Bethany`s Notes: Helping a team heal after a suicide is a hard step. It`s essential students have resources and people to go to. In addition, everyone will grieve differently and at different times. Be honest, open, and vulnerable.

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LG Collaborates With NCAA Basketball Players to Raise Raise Mental Health Awareness Among Student-Athletes

.....According to the NCAA Student-Athlete Well-Being Survey, the rates of mental exhaustion, anxiety and depression among student-athletes in the fall of 2021 were comparable to rates at the start of the pandemic. Through the "Game 4 Good" campaign, LG aims to help break the stigma around mental health by partnering with four NCAA student athletes from men`s and women`s college basketball programs that have demonstrated a deep commitment to mental wellness and advocacy work. Student-athletes Haley Jones (Stanford University), Flau`Jae Johnson (Louisiana State University), Trayce Jackson-Davis (Indiana University), and Jarace Walker (University of Houston) will be featured in LG`s video content series emphasizing the importance of mental well-being and how they "Game 4 Good." .....   ...Full Story Here

Bethany`s Notes: An interesting move by LG who is entering the NIL contracts by focusing on mental health and wellness. Four basketball student athletes were chosen for a commercial and then were each given $10,000 for a charity of their choice.

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How Do MMA Athletes Stay In Strong Mental Condition?

.....“I visualize. I think ahead, I can do it now, sitting here. I think ahead to the walk-in, I can hear the crowd, the music, I can feel the cameras all around me, I can feel movements in my body as I am heading there, I can bring up that incredible feeling you get when you step into
the cage.”.....
.....This isn’t as simple as suddenly deciding you’re going to win a fight and then walking out to an inevitable victory. Positive thought is a way of life that positively impacts mental and physical health. By training your brain to think positively, negative thoughts become obstacles to be overcome and defeats become opportunities to learn and improve as a fighter.....
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Bethany`s Notes: Read up on how MMA fighters stay focused mentally and what things get them off track.

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Great Resources

Beyond The Outcome (my blog)

Athletes Connected News From University of Michigan

Support For Sport

Balance Position

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Welcome / About Bethany

Thanks for your interest in Beyond the Outcome.

Brewster just recently completed her Master`s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She is interested in applying systemic therapies in team and individual settings. 
Players are often not only competing with other teams, they also compete with each other for positions, playing time, and, in some cases, scholarship money. These unique team circumstances can lead to conflict within and among team members, including the coaching staff. The need for more information on mental health is essential for both coaches and athletes.  This website provides a gathering of information and resources to help serve the sports community. 

Brewster is the current cross country/track and field coach for Edgewood College, located in Madison, Wisconsin. A highly decorated student-athlete while at the University of Wisconsin, Brewster has a total of 11 Big Ten championships to her credit. She was an All-American selection six times during her career. Post collegiately, she competed in the 1500m at the 2004 Summer Olympic Trails in Sacramento, CA. Brewster is a USATF Level 1 and 2 certified coach.
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