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How Coaches and Counselors Can Support Their Athletes’ Health and Well-Being

Posted on November 12, 2017 by Rachelle Wilber

How Coaches and Counselors Can Support Their Athletes' Health and Well-BeingAthletes face many challenges not only in their sport of choice but also in everyday life. Consequently, these challenges can affect their performance both on and off the field, whether male or female. Therefore, not only do they need the help of their coaches, but also of counselors to help them navigate their everyday lives.

The Role of Coaches

Coaches deal with their players on an everyday basis. Consequently, they play a significant role in their athletes’ lives and spend a lot of time with their players. Coaches are responsible for training athletes on the skills and techniques for the given sport. As such, coaches should be equipped a master’s degree in coaching, and with both leadership and technical skills to manage their athletes’ performance. To ensure they are in the best physical shape, coaches follow up on athletes’ diets, training regimen and general well-being. Coaches should be duly trained on the best knowledge and skills essential for bringing out the best performance in an athlete. A coach should also foster a sense of community, confidence, and teamwork for their team if they are dealing with a team sport.

Individual Sports

Even when dealing with individual sports, the coach is still responsible for ensuring athletes are in the best physical and mental conditions to handle competition. Good coaches contribute to the confidence levels exuded by players both on and off the field. It is, therefore, the responsibility of the coach to ensure he/she has a good working relationship with their athletes.

The Role of Counselors

An athlete’s well-being is, however, not only dependent on their physical being. Their mental health is also crucial in ensuring they reach optimum performance levels in every facet of life. Athletes generally face two main psychological problems: anxiety and confidence issues. A counselor is, therefore, crucial in helping them navigate their mental landscape such that it does not affect their physical well-being. Counselors assist athlete’s to enhance their performance using various mental strategies such as relaxation techniques, self-talk and visualization. They also help them recover from injuries by helping them to tolerate pain and adjusting to being sidelined as they complete their recovery process.

Athletic Assistance

Additionally, counselors come in handy in helping athletes cope with pressures of competition while teaching them to enjoy the sport. Some athletes find the pressure associated with sports debilitating and need assistance with how to cope when they feel overwhelmed. Other counselors are utilizing technology to keep tabs on their patient’s well-being.  Specific things, like texting, can help counselors stay in touch with their athlete-clients. can also help athletes keep up with their exercise program when an athlete can’t muster the motivation to stick to their training regimen.

Both coaches and counselors are important in getting athletes to their best form. Athletes depend on both their physical and mental health and well-being to meet their goals during competitions. Once an athlete is meeting his or her goals in the sport, it also reflects in their life off the field.

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