In the Business of NIL Episode 12 our guest and softball/mental health coach, Morgan Stuart speaks to us about the mental health issues for college athletes. Stuart grew up playing softball, and won a national championship at the University of Washington back in 2009. Stuart now teaches softball lessons, and also has an online company where she teaches mental skills to college athletes.
Mental health is something that may often be overlooked when people think of or are watching college sports, but it is something that many athletes across the country deal with on a daily basis. The daily schedule of a collegiate athlete is very draining as almost all of their time every day is devoted towards their sport. Whether that be practice, recovery, film whatever it is and then they have to go back and do it the next day.
Some of the tips and advice that Morgan gives to help these athletes that are dealing with mental health struggles include:
- Be aware of what you are telling yourself, in other words speaking positivity into the mind can be a world of difference in how you act and feel
- If it’s not easy as being positive, then seek help from therapist, or talk to a professional who can help what it is you are going through
While mental health may be a big struggle for many athletes both on and off the field, it isn’t something that is always known from an outsider’s perspective. When watching a sporting event it is common to see athletes pre game on the field/court warming up, getting pumped up to music and it seems like they are living their best life. Now while that may be true for some, what many don’t always see is how one’s mind may be thinking and swirling. However it does seem that the athletes that are most successful both on and off the field are usually the ones with the best minds and mental health.
Morgan Stuart talks about a method that she uses to help athletes and their mental state called ASAP. Which stands for:
A: Acknowledge what you are going through\
S: Spot or how you react to failure and sort of awareness level
A: Activate defense, how will you flip your mindset what steps will you take
P: Practice daily stay disciplined like playing given sport
The success of women’s softball has been on display especially this year where the women’s college world series gained a lot of traction and viewers over other notable sports and is continuing to grow. Softball should continue to grow and be popular as long as they can maintain the high numbers for the women’s college world series and keep that going, as well as the future of the olympics and pro leagues.
To wrap it up, mental health is a big issue in sports especially for collegiate athletes. One big tip Stuart gives towards the end is “it definitely gets better.” As cliche as it might sound, it is a good mindset to have if you are struggling. Another important thing to keep in mind if struggling with mental health is to not be afraid to seek out help and use resources. Many athletes may think they have it under control themselves, or be embarrassed to get professional help, but it is a serious issue and getting help from a professional can make a world of difference and help you in ways some could not even imagine.