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A Letter About Mental Health From A Washed Up College Athlete

Jul 31, 2015
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This sad story points out something that has always bothered me about sports, and really, all types of businesses and organizations: "go along with the program or you're out".

But what if the program is harmful?

Easy enough to say "switch teams" or "go work somewhere else" but in reality, most organizations are dictatorships: "my way or the highway". And while that mentality works very well for the people in charge, it is not at all healthy for the people subjected to it.

Seems like there is a huge opportunity to start a business that trains for authority with empathy. In any setting.
 
Apr 28, 2014
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These stories are very helpful and I appreciate people sharing. I am fortunate in a way as DD has had nothing come easy to her. She has to claw her way academically and athletically every day. I played sports in HS but it was casual. Academics came easy to me so I understand and feel pain when I see that they don't come as easy to her. I do feel that everything in life prepares a person for next. Reading that article is hard but so is life. The moment you find yourself out of a job and scrapping to feed your family that's hard. Loss of a loved one is hard, getting passed up for an opportunity you deserve is hard.
If College is what it's designed to be then it will be hard. It is intended to teach lessons that without it could take longer. A D1 athlete knows what they sign up for and it's not easy. But coming out of that position they will be ready to soar in life. I hire many at recent college graduate level and when I see someone who was an athlete I will always speak to them. Their resume never gets simply filed. I try to tell my kids that Attitude + Decisions = Life.
Have a good attitude, make good decisions and you will have a good life.

One quote in the article stood out to me. " Instead, we “fixed” our problems with the casual venting session on a Friday night over a bottle or two of wine. "

I was thinking this sounds like how just about everyone in the world handles things :)
 

Vertigo

Jersey Girl
May 27, 2013
892
93
Thank you for posting this. I have full faith that DD’s HS and her in-school and out of school schedules have prepared her well for “the grind.” Her HS is very academically intense, and she has been a 3-sport athlete throughout (except this year due to Covid), plus club ball. Though she will be D3 vs D1 so less intense softball-wise, she is choosing a challenging major at a very challenging school. I tell her all the time that if softball gets to be too much for her in college, I will not be disappointed if she chooses to walk-away from it. I do feel that her knowing that takes a lot of pressure off of her already. There is no athletic scholarship that she needs to worry about maintaining to help out with cost of attendance. I can only hope that she would feel comfortable enough to seek out appropriate help if she ever feels that mentally things are weighing on her. I’ve always preached to my kids that mental health issues are real, and they need to be discussed, not hidden.
 

Vertigo

Jersey Girl
May 27, 2013
892
93
One quote in the article stood out to me. " Instead, we “fixed” our problems with the casual venting session on a Friday night over a bottle or two of wine. "

I was thinking this sounds like how just about everyone in the world handles things :)
Yep - I knew there was a reason why the bar near my old hospital was open in the mornings! We would all go there after a very crappy night-shift which was fairly often.
 
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