Mental Health Matters For Coaches, Too

This year has created many different challenges. We’ve spent a great deal of time talking about the mental health challenges that players are facing due to the quarantine, cancellations of seasons and isolation that accompanies digital learning and staying home.

Well there is another group that needs a little mental health care, the coaches who invest in these players.

Coaching comes with great reward. Seeing a player grow and learn has a tremendous sense of accomplishment. Winning is always fun and winning creates a lot of opportunities for coaches to grow in their profession. For the professional coach, there is the opportunity to make a living doing something you love. For the volunteer coach, there are just as many potential rewards as the professional coach but getting paid isn’t one of them.

We know there is always another side to the coin. Yes, coaching has many built-in rewards but it also has many built-in pressures.

For many coaches, their passion for their sports becomes all-consuming. We have all seen the coach that is so wrapped up in their teams and their players that sometime lose their perspective. Many coaches spend every waking moment working to make their team the best it can be. We have all seen coaches who make personal sacrifices for the betterment of their team, and those personal sacrifices can have a very profound impact.

The passion and intensity that a coach brings to their efforts can create real problems with their health, relationships and finances. Coaching with a passion also has a built-in trap because every decision they make is seen with a great deal of scrutiny. You’re either a hero or a zero with every decision you make.

Burnout is a real thing in the coaching world. I write this blog reliving the times in my life where I got so wrapped up in my coaching that I wasn’t doing a good job as a parent or husband. The good news is that there is now help available for all the coaches who feel the stress of doing what we love.