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. ...more
The world of sports has become increasingly competitive. High school
student athletes feel the need to achieve both in school and in sport.
Players are often not only competing with other teams, they also compete
with each other for positions and playing time.
This one-day camp was created to help student-athletes recognize and
learn some unique skills that can help guide them in their sport and in
Who: All high school athletes, in any sport, entering grades 9-12
Location: Anderson Auditorium-Edgewood College Campus-Madison, WI
Saturday January 4, 2020
Starts: 9:00am/Ends: 12:00pm
Friday January 24, 2020
Starts: 1:00pm / Ends: 4:00pm
- Obtain mental skills coaching in a personalized setting
- Learn to be an expert on yourself-your baseline level of functioning
- Learn cognitive reframing skills to tackle negative self-talk
- Understand how failure can be GOOD for you and how to learn from failure
- Learn mindful self-compassion techniques to accept the good and bad, the successes and the failures
- How to approach a parent/coach if you need additional help
Bethany`s Notes: Consider registering for this camp as a unique experience to help you gain a Mental EDGE in sport and in life.
.....For Bates Athletes, the added stress of competing both in the classroom and on their respective playing fields can take a toll, similar to what Schaedig describes. This year Bates has addressed the stresses of athletes lives by creating a “committee of coaches and staff meeting regularly to develop a larger-scale mental health promotion initiative for student- athletes,” the Office of Residence Life and Health Education wrote.
“As part of this initiative, all 31 varsity teams have completed a 90-minute workshop starting formal conversations about mental health,” it continued. “After participating in the workshops, all sports teams attended a keynote address highlighting specific strategies for student-athletes.”..... ...more
Bethany`s Notes: Perhaps it is time for HS`s and colleges to have yearly workshops around mental health and key strategies. One of the reasons I have created the mental edge camp where we talk about some of those key components to mental health.
.....“It’s important to remember that when it comes to concussions, there’s no visual test to confirm them. Unfortunately, you can’t take your child to have a lab test done to diagnose one,” said Dale Mantey, the study’s lead author, a doctoral student at UTHealth School of Public Health in Austin......
.....The findings show that teens who reported a concussion in the previous year were more likely to report feelings of depression, suicidal ideations and planned or previous suicide attempts. Of the portion of students who reported a history of concussions, approximately 36% reported they had felt sad or hopeless (compared to 31.1% of all teens) and around 21% had thoughts of suicide (compared to 17%)...... ...more
Bethany`s Notes: Perhaps not a huge surprise to many people but the research continues to show a correlation between concussions and reporting of depression and suicidal tendencies. Keep teens heads safe and make the they are FULLY recovered before you allow them to play again.
....In fact, it’s an issue I began sharing in 2013 when I started Running in Silence. Although I was never personally told to lose weight by anyone—my coach always stressed putting my health before my performances—the lack of education for eating disorders in athletes allowed my eating disorder to get worse under the radar. No one really knew until I myself spoke up about it. And the more I have opened up on my website, the more other runners have reached out. I hear from somebody at least every few weeks—sometimes more—to talk about their lost passion for the sport, career-ending injuries, the eating disorder that continued to plague them in secrecy, or how their coach or parents encouraged them to lose weight...... ...more
Bethany`s Notes: I met the author of this article in February this past year. She told her story and it was heart wrenching. Athletes are humans and so are coaches. As coaches we need to have an open door policy and not always have the quick answer. In addition, athletes need to continue to talk about their challenges until someone helps them get to the additional help they need.
.....Here are the qualities of the great coaches:
1. They create a culture of kindness, support and sportsmanship.....
2. They celebrate the special qualities of every athlete under their charge. And they let each athlete know that they believe in them.....
3. They have spirit that is transformative....
4. They realize that they have a higher purpose than coaching a team. Great coaches know that they are the architects of amazing life lessons that will translate into adulthood in both the workplace and the community......
5. Great coaches help create lifelong memories...... ...more
Bethany`s Notes: Great coaches fall short and are not perfect but they are able to view their job as a transformation lives instead of a factory assembly line.
.....Lipson blames high admissions standards at selective schools for creating high-pressure academic and athletic environments filled with over-achievers. She also points to technology.
"We`re just spending so much time looking down at a screen and not looking at one another,” Lipson said. “Then even within the world that we`re looking at on our phone, there`s every little bit of comparison, and people`s perfect lives being displayed on social media.".... ...more
Bethany`s Notes: A reflective and thought provoking read. I`m not one to blame on specific thing on the increase in depression/anxiety yet I know that the lack of relationships (and knowing that other people have gone through similar feelings happens) all the time when we are not willing to put our phone down (or ask our student athletes to) and engage in face-to-face interaction.
.....Research has shown that making time to practice gratitude helps improve your sleep, reduce your blood pressure, lower your levels of inflammation, and heal from injury faster.....
.....“Psychologists will tell you that positive thoughts lead to positive emotions and that often leads to positive outcomes,” running coach Janet Hamilton, C.S.C.S., owner of Atlanta-based company Running Strong previously told Runner’s World. “I often tell my athletes to practice having a positive mantra during long runs.”..... ...more
Bethany`s Notes: Do you give time for your athletes to be grateful? Let me recommend it. We practice grateful Friday at Edgewood...everyone gets a chance to say what they are grateful for and sometimes there are some real surprises. Plus it gives you time to connect with every kid on your team.
...."I think this generation is not tolerant. That`s not a bad thing. But back in the day, coaches could pretty much do anything, say anything. Nobody really complained. Now (players) know better. They`re demanding to be treated better," Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. "(But) kids are going to get yelled at. They need to be able to take a little bit of that."
Many coaches say it`s about how they communicate now that is important. What was said years ago in practice or games is taken differently now.
"Players can misconstrue what you say. They read into tone maybe more than they should," Oregon coach Kelly Graves said. "You have to adapt a little bit to this generation. They are different. They are wired differently. They think differently. I think the best coaches figure out how they can communicate differently with their players as they change."..... ...more
Bethany`s Notes: Have we as coaches figured out a way to communicate with this generation? Do you know how your athletes respond to criticism? Just recently I had an interaction with some athletes who took something I said and twisted it to think I didn`t think they could do something. I had the opportunity to talk to those athletes again and let them know it wasn`t in their best interest to do certain work which was why I initially said they should not do it. Follow up and ask questions, clarify, and help them understand what you really mean.
....."It did, but I felt exhausted. The nausea came back, and I tried to battle through it and went out for the first drive. The nausea and vomiting came back until I left the field, and tried everything I could to get back for my teammates but just wasn`t able to do it." ...more Brooks, who was drafted by the Houston Texans in 2012, has missed five games over his seven-year career due to anxiety-related illness, most recently in 2016, when he missed a pair of games, according to ESPN....
...."Make no mistake, I`m NOT ashamed or embarrassed by this nor what I go through daily,`` he wrote. "I`ve had this under control for a couple of years, and had a set back yesterday. The only thing I`m upset about is that when my team needed me, I wasn`t able to be out there with and for them. Lastly, I appreciate the support of my coaches, teammates and fans. It doesn`t go unnoticed.".....
Bethany`s Notes: Let`s give a guy a break who has missed a total of 5 games his whole career due to anxiety. Glad to see the coach and team supporting him.
....."As a coach at any level, you are cognizant of what student-athletes are going through," said UMBC assistant lacrosse coach Jamison Koesterer, the athletic department`s adviser for the project. "The pressures are different, but they`re real. For whatever reason, kids struggle, a lot of things to have to balance whether it`s from the family, from friends or with other external pressures.".....
....."Our sports medicine department does a great job of having dialogue with kids and referring them to doctors, but they don`t have the time or resources to be specific to this one aspect," Koesterer said. "There`s a need for it, and I think there are universities within our conference and certainly in the country that do something like this. Also, it was just something we needed to do."..... ...more
Bethany`s Notes: Another college making a movement and making the discussion more open for student athletes and staff.
.....Their fight is part of a movement to end so-called “old-school” coaching techniques that experts say are abusive. But change is slow, they say, because coaches hold so much power over players and some mistakenly believe military-style training is key to winning.... ...more
.....But she says the coaching style that is similar to combat training, involving hurling insults and swearing at athletes, still exists because our society tends to glorify people who can endure abuse. In society, it’s a naivete or an ignorance about what sport actually involves,” she says. “Sport is not war. It’s not a battle at all.”But she says the coaching style that is similar to combat training, involving hurling insults and swearing at athletes, still exists because our society tends to glorify people who can endure abuse.....
Bethany`s Notes: Once again coaches are not perfect, they make mistakes. How many mistakes do we let them make? How much additional help do they get before they are dismissed? Perhaps there are no concrete answers but certainly processes to think about.
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
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