This week, the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio came to a conclusion. Bringing with it the final competition of a season for many athletes. In some cases, the final competition EVER, ending what is most likely a lifetime and career focused almost exclusively on their sport.Read More
As you may or may not know, May is Mental Health Awareness Month in the US. It’s a blip in time where we can pause to think about a very big need that must be addressed in our culture today. And not only just within our culture at large, but within the specific subculture of athletics and college sports.
Recently, Sports Illustrated and SI.com published an article about Michael Phelps and his path to rehabilitation in an effort to win gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016. It was a really thorough piece -- one that I couldn’t put down. It was intriguing not only because it's a comeback story about one of swimming’s greatest competitors, but because it looked into the more personal struggles that Phelps has endured over the last eight years.
Phelps should be acknowledged for his bravery in sharing his experiences during this time period. It couldn’t have been easy to publicly share this information and open himself to criticism or comments on social media.Read More
It occurred to me earlier this week that it can be hard to find what professionals, organizations, individuals and institutions are up to when it comes to personally and professionally developing athletes. So, periodically, I’ll try to collect news, articles and personal athlete stories from all over the place to help keep you in the loop.
Here’s the first edition.Read More
A few weeks ago, I read an article announcing the opening of a new NFL locker room facility on Baylor University’s campus. The new Charline Dauphin Pro Locker Room is a special facility open any time for the former Baylor and active NFL players who want to come back to campus. This news got me thinking about the various methods and levels of support college athletic departments provide its student-athletes and the messages it sends.
My initial reaction to reading the news was, “this is ridiculous” and “what a waste of money.” I immediately asked myself, why invest in facilities like a new NFL locker room that will serve so few? Why not invest in sustainable programs and services that will aid entire populations of student-athletes in succeeding in their academics and in life after they leave campus?Read More
I spend a lot of time thinking about the transition that occurs when individuals end their athletic careers. Things like: What happens during the transition…what it means emotionally for the person...how it affects the individual’s lifestyle…what we can be doing more of to support people as they go through the process, etc. Despite the fact that I’ve personally experienced this transition (and currently work with individuals as they go through it) there is still much that I don’t know.
I would argue that biggest portion of this entire process deals with the concept of athletic identity and how a person manages the changes related to it. I’ve written briefly on this before and think it’s quite critical to paint a better picture of the emotions, thoughts and feelings a person experiences as they go through this change in their life.Read More
A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post sharing some of my advice for recent college graduates as they enter the “real world.” In writing that, I realized that I have more to say on the topic of building a solid support network and its importance. I hold this concept as a priority in my life and think that we all need to feel like we are a part of something bigger and a part of a community in order to thrive in whatever it is we do each day.
Times of transition, like graduating from college, finishing your athletic career or starting a new job can cause your network and ties to community to be in flux. This leaves you vulnerable to little support at a time when you need it most. For many athletes, the lack of community is one of the biggest issues that can surface during the transition out of athletics.
In February, former NHL hockey player Steve Montador was found dead in his home. He was 35 years old.
There has been quite a bit of chatter around his passing and the issue of mental health support in professional sports. In the last week, Olympic medalist and hockey player, Hayley Wickenheiser, published an extremely well-written and thoughtful article on this issue in The Players’ Tribune. I also watched a very courageous and emotional video interview with current Chicago Blackhawk Daniel Carcillo on Montador's passing and the need for more support for the athletes in the National Hockey League.
Both pieces moved me to respond, though I must admit that I’ve had a really hard time writing this post. So much so, that I have put off publishing it. I have such a hard time reading stories like Montador's and not getting emotionally charged. There is just no reason for something like this to happen — over and over again, especially when we have the tools to assist them.Read More