Coaches can develop a very close relationship with their players, and players take to heart what coaches say and teach them both on the field and off. Coaches can have a profound effect on the mental health of their players in either positive or negative ways.
Human beings have a need to belong to groups where they feel valued, respected, and needed. The culture created by a coach can foster a sense of belonging. Culture and belonging are so important to building a team that supports mental health as much as athletic performance and wins. Anyone that has experienced an emotionally close team knows the power of team chemistry and connection and the powerful synergy that is created.
When teammates genuinely care about each other and feel a deep connection to each other and to their coach, life changing experiences happen that influence the mental health and overall success of players in every area of their lives..
Coaches often think that social emotional learning is about “touchy-feely” things. SEL and mental health are actually about the brain and nervous system and what they need in order for coaches and players to perform at their highest ability on the field and off. I support and train coaches and players from a brain based, science point of view that helps them to understand the science behind mental health, connection, and performance.