At the Good Athlete Project, we believe that if you are part of a team, there should always be someone to reach out to. Coaches should work to embrace the conversation and support athletes as needed. Team cultures should be created so that reciprocal support is an expectation, in no way undercutting the value of hard work, toughness, or grit.
The most successful coaches are both tough and kind. The most successful players are both competitive and supportive. The balance of these efforts plays a primary role in healthy athletic settings – and perhaps more importantly, the long-term psychological health of its participants.
At the Good Athlete Project, we often ask people if they are strong enough for a tough conversation. The more we practice the language of support, break down stigmas surrounding mental health, and develop both a language and willingness for engagement, the better the outcomes will be.
Are your teammates important to you? Then don’t be afraid to extend a hand in support.
Do you need support? Then don’t be afraid to reach out to coaches and teammates.
Keep an eye on TeamEmbrace.net for stories, research and connections to a community brought together through athletics, but prepared to support each other for life.