The dream of being a top athlete starts to take shape for many while they are at school. But for student-athletes, the demands of training and competition, coupled with their studies, can easily become be overwhelming. If not managed correctly, sport can transform from a happy space into a place of torment, anxiety and depression. We know this situation is avoidable. We work with elite athletes who manage sport and study at the highest level. It is possible to be a happy and successful student-athlete. But it requires self-awareness, support, planning and a love of the sport.
To get through the challenge of high-level sport, athletes need to be educated in the fundamentals of emotional and mental self-awareness. For student-athletes, this includes developing the skills to manage their time and energy, understanding the essential need for a non-sporting identity, and learning to manage and enjoy in their school work at the same time.
Dual pathways and sound mental health are particularly important, and should be the cornerstones of a student athlete’s world. Student-athletes need this solid foundation so they can take responsibility for their long-term future, right from the off. They need to know that having a dual identity is normal. They need to feel like they are a lot more than just athletes, right from the beginning of their sporting careers. They need to understand that these careers will be longer and more enjoyable if they develop greater self-awareness.
We have been delivering workshops to young and experienced athletes, coaches, parents and support staff for many years. We have found face-to-face, interactive delivery to be the most effective method for engaging young people. When we have ex-athletes delivering our content, it is even more effective. Young people listen to their idols, those who have walked the path before them. Our new series of mental health and personal development workshops are aimed at 12-to-18-year-old student athletes. The Groundwork workshops are co-hosted by former athletes, Olympians and elite players who use a combination of CTL content on athlete mental health and career development, and their own experiences to engage with and educate young athletes.
The content will be delivered in a positive and engaging way so that it sticks with the student-athletes as they move forward, including interactive brainstorms, hands-on team work and mixed multi-media delivery. The student-athletes will be given tools to embed what they learn from the ex-athletes at the seminar, including digestible resources on mental health, workbooks for development beyond the workshop, and links to online
To find out more about Groundwork, read the full proposal here, or contact Gearoid Towey at firstname.lastname@example.org. We aim to deliver these workshops to local schools and community sports groups free of charge.