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. 

Show All 2016 Stories

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Mitchell Trubisky got off social media to improve his mental health
.....Trubisky says that when he struggled as a rookie in 2017, he’d sometimes look on Twitter and see people telling him he sucks, and that would wear on him and take his focus away from getting better. Getting off social media this year has put him in a better mental place.....
.....Trubisky said that when he spent time on social media, he felt like other people were controlling his time.

“If you’re conscious of something, then you’re also in control,” Trubisky said. “And that also takes me back to the social media thing — always being in control of your time and your thoughts. Don’t let people on the outside take control. You’re in control of your time, and how you’re working, and your peace of mind, and how you sleep at night.”....

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Bethany`s Notes: What a great reminder that you have control over what you see, write, and how you respond. If social media makes you anxious gets you down...you have a choice to NOT use it.

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Nickel: Markus Howard speaks his mind on the mental health of student athletes
.....Howard, 19, is honored to serve on the committee, but also, he was ready for it. And this is an important detail. Because what the committee maybe didn’t know then, and what most of us would have hardly guessed, was that Howard used to put so much pressure on himself to live up to a sky-high standard, he was robbed of the everyday joy and contentment that should come with his pursuit of success......
.....A year ago, his schedule was so busy that Howard only got a day and a half at home in Arizona over the holiday break. Family is everything to him, so it just wasn’t enough time, and he expressed that to the committee.

“I felt like I got there and then left right away,” said Howard. “I had been hearing it not only from my teammates, but different basketball players that I know around the country, the same thing: They really didn’t get much time home.

“Student athletes need that more than anything,” said Howard. “Any time I have with my family I feel is a necessity. When I come back I feel like a new person. It helps from a mental standpoint as well as physical.”....

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Bethany`s Notes: A coach or administrator has to ask themselves at what point does the cost outweigh the benefit? I don`t think there is an easy answer here but to be honest perhaps winning has become too much of the focal point for too long in college athletics??? Most of an athlete`s time is committed to their sport but even 18-22 year olds need their parents at times, especially during the holidays.

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Researcher hopes study of mental illness in student athletes will reduce stigma, raise awareness

....He wants to remind you that  football players in the rarified air of Division I … aren’t all that different from you.....Yes, really.

Even if they can knock you flat in the backfield and beat you by two or three lengths in the 40-yard dash....

.....They’re popular.  It’s great. It’s also not great....

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Bethany`s Notes: A study being conducted by a researcher at WVU. Hillard`s study entitled “Stigma, Attitudes and Intentions to Seek Mental Health Services in Student-Athletes” utilizes student athletes across all NCAA divisions to get a better glimpse of the pressures and stigma`s student athletes face in getting help.

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Brain Training: Three Psychological Skills to Cope with Performance Stress and Anxiety
....In this article, three coping strategies are introduced based on the principle of brain plasticity. Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to rearrange itself through laying down new pathways. The brain is capable of trained changes with a psychological skill building program. The goal is to train the brain to automatically form controlled thoughts that facilitate rather than debilitate performance. These new thinking habits happen without stressful extra effort that often distract performers from the goal. Three short mantras for brain training habits include: 1) winner imaging, 2) power posing, and 3) automation squeezing......   ...more

Bethany`s Notes: The new year is a great time to try something new with your student athletes. What are you doing to improve their overall performance stress and anxiety?

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`A chance to breathe`
.....For Guy, the process of learning to withstand the aftershock of last year’s abrupt ending reveals much of what elite college athletes often endure. In an era of 24-7 digital surveillance exacerbated by social media, fans invest themselves in athletes more directly than ever. And when those athletes falter, publicly or privately, they are beholden to more than themselves and their teammates.....
.....“They say with great success comes great responsibility,” Guy wrote. “… they can’t teach you how to handle everything that comes with winning. They can’t prepare you for the hatred and support, or for basketball fans to forget that you’re a human being ... You have always been a believer that pressure is just a figment of your imagination, as is fear. It only becomes real if you let it. Don’t buy in now … This has been one of the best seasons in the history of college basketball. Why stop now?”....
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Bethany`s Notes: Kyle Guy is a leader on the Virginia basketball team. Their basketball team, seeded #1 in the NCAA tournament last season lost to a #16 last year in the NCAA tournament. Guy reveals the anxiety and pressures DI athletes face day in and day out.

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Weir ‘disappointed’ some question practice times
.....“I don’t do some of the things that maybe still go on in coaching,” Weir said. “I have to find creative ways to get my point across. That’s exactly what I told them at 5 a.m. … (The UNLV game) wasn’t acceptable, for them or any of us as coaches. I have to find a way to impress that on them creatively.”.....
.....“I’m glad,” Weir said. “I’m hard on these guys. I am. And I put them through a lot. They’ve had three-a-days for 10 straight days. They haven’t had a day off. They don’t get an afternoon off. They’re all – especially the new guys – walking back to their rooms thinking, ‘God, I got to go back again tonight?’ I’m hard on them, so I’m glad that they still like me after all that.”.....
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Bethany`s Notes: How much is too much? How much can a coach demand? As a coach sometimes we have practices early to keep our kids safe late at night. It`s a tough situation to balance.

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Headstart: Irish sports stars lead the way on mental health awareness
.....“We’ve conducted studies with students, athletes and people working in business and found that when you use the example of athletes who sought help, they’re more likely to seek and offer help. That’s the power sport and role models can have. ‘Well, if it can happen to them, it can happen to me.’”.....
.....“We tend to look at this bubble of mental health as out on its own but it’s basically the integration of all aspects of our lives. The research shows that the most damaging cause of a person’s mental health is exclusion: a feeling of being excluded from the tribe. So that means understanding that no club should allow any young member to be stuck sitting on the bench.....
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Bethany`s Notes: A little inside information on what is happening in Ireland regarding sports/athletes and mental health. It is always good to see what other countries are doing and how we can grow and learn from them.

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When a Wrestling Meet Becomes Traumatic
.....The commitment to play any sport is not an easy task, but to make the choice to wrestle requires a level of dedication unlike other sports. Being part of a boys’ wrestling team often results in a brotherhood. Wrestlers must manage their weight at all the times in order to compete in their designated class. This in itself requires extreme discipline. Need I mention the prowess it takes to achieve wrestling moves like take downs and escapes?.....
.....Some factors that result in traumatization include an occurrence during childhood, an event that happens unexpectedly, an event that leaves the individual feeling helpless, or if the person is experiencing other stressors....
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Bethany`s Notes: A necessary read to better understand how trauma occurs and whether perhaps this experience will be experienced as traumatic. Would it have been less traumatic if it was not over national news?

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Athletes need more help with mental health
.....Publicist and founder of social media consultancy The Digital Athlete, Carly Post, has seen first-hand the way that social media has changed sporting culture, and said Daw’s incident was exactly why she had started the business.

“Athletes simply aren’t being educated and empowered, or given the tools they need to adequately navigate the digital world we find ourselves in, and it is severely impacting their mental health....

.....“It is the responsibility of major sporting organisations, clubs, coaches and even individual players to ensure that this base is covered, particularly for new draftees who go from virtually unknown to superstar overnight. More must be done.”.....

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Bethany`s Notes: Two interesting articles on social media and mental health this week. Are we as coaches educating our students how to navigate social media? It may not be as easy as `stay off it.` How can we help them to use it in a positive way and also understand there is good and bad with everything.

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Mental health video marks two years since death of B.C. bull rider Ty Pozzobon
.....“Any athlete will tell you it’s way more mental than it actually is physical,” Monea said discussing the issue. “You can have your body physically ready but can you handle the mental game or the mental pressure? And if you can’t at the moment it doesn’t mean you’re a crappy athlete, it doesn’t mean you’re not successful, or you don’t have the potential to reach your dream.”.....
.....“Our hope in this second video is that contestants continue to share when they realize that they aren’t OK. We want there to be a realization that there is help out there. We also hope those involved in western sport continue to learn more to take further care of themselves.”.....
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Bethany`s Notes: The Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Medicine Team offers up another video regarding your mental health. All athletes can take away something from the video.

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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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