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Professional sports and mental health

Professional sports and mental health

Athletic performance is just as mental as it is physical. Learn about the role of psychological wellbeing in professional sports and how using a mental health platform can help athletes take their performance to the next level.

The state of mental health in elite sports

68%

of elite athletes experience depressive symptoms

19%

of male athletes have an eating disorder or engage in disordered eating

50%

of Olympic athletes qualify as poor sleepers

1. 2. Athletes for Hope; 3. Mental health in elite athletes: International Olympic Committee consensus statement (2019)

“We also have to focus on ourselves, because at the end of the day, we’re human, too. So, we have to protect our mind and our body, rather than just go out there and do what the world wants us to do."

Simone Biles, Olympic Gymnast

Mental health and sporting excellence

 

In July 2021, tennis player Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open to focus on her mental wellbeing after her participation in press conferences for the tournament became mandatory. In August, decorated gymnast Simone Biles stepped back from competition at the Tokyo Olympics, , over concerns that her mental state could lead to physical injury if she continued.

Coaches, team psychologists and athletes themselves agree that performing at the highest level of sport takes more than just physical fitness. Mental fitness can make the difference not only between winning and losing but whether we’re able to perform at all.

 

But in competitive sporting environments, mental wellness is nuanced. While Sports Psychologists and Wellbeing Coaches are invaluable, elite teams are increasingly turning to digital tools to help proactively monitor and improve their overall mental wellbeing. As well as offering clinically-backed on-the-go resources, the right tech enables users to measure their mental wellbeing overtime and spot focus areas to boost overall performance.  

Digital platforms like Unmind empower professional sporting organizations to compliment their coaching strategies with preventative mental health support, accessible content and science-backed wellbeing measurement capabilities.  

 

"The breathing exercises have helped with my anxiety and insomnia. The tools have really been inspiring. I have so appreciated the advice, regular contact and understanding received by using Unmind. You have felt like a 'best friend'. Thank you."

Wolverhampton Wanderers employee, Unmind User

Whole person coaching 

 

 

Alongside physical health, the success of a sports team is determined by a multitude of influences. Performance is cross-referenced with almost every other variable: fine-tuning diet,  adjusting sleep schedules and even working on the way team-mates communicate on the pitch. A team is not just a physical unit but a social and psychological one.

Proactively developing wellbeing not only leads to healthier, happier individuals but also strengthens the group ties that make up a team dynamic. This is how Unmind supports sports teams, as well as other high-pressure work environments like leading law firms, creative agencies and technology companies.

 

We adopt a 'whole- person' approach because we believe mental wellbeing is influenced by a myriad of factors: psychological, physical and social. More than a holistic philosophy, the whole-person approach is a clinically backed methodology that informs how we support the mental health of hundreds of thousands of users. 

Our content is tailored to seven key areas that interact and influence mental health: fulfilment, coping, calmness, happiness, connection, health and sleep. Our Index feature tracks users' wellbeing across these subscales. This enables team leaders to get an accurate read of the challenges their team is facing. Unmind is also accessible to users wherever they are, whenever they need it, so they can benefit from our platform in their personal and professional lives.

 

 

Spotlight on Series

 

 

Building Mental Strength

Series Trailer

1:22 minutes

 

 

 

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Unmind is a workplace mental health platform. Find out how we're empowering professional sports teams to reach their peak performance.