Suicidal thoughts (ideation) among elite athletics (track and field) athletes:

This is an original research paper published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine first published in 2020.

A sobering paper on the current issues of suicide thoughts among Elite athletes, reading this paper it is also applicable to the lower tiers of sport including Amateur on Male and Female players in all sports where issues of suicide go unreported, National Bodies must take action.

The paper examined associations between suicidal ideation and sexual and physical abuse among active and recently retired elite athletics (track and field) in Sweden.
For the full paper click on the link :

Suicidal thoughts (ideation) among elite athletics (track and field) athletes: associations with sports participation, psychological resourcefulness and having been a victim of sexual and/or physical abuse

 

THE 4 D’s OF SUCCESS

Recently I have been reading interviews of players mentioning the 4D’s of success. I have been researching the subject and how the four Ds served as a motivational tool for players.

No matter the level of play, (amateur, semi-professional or professional), age, sex, role within the team (coach, player, manager), or you are on or off the pitch; If you want to be successful, either as an individual or as part of a team, it is important to keep these four principles in mind. Some studies have shown that those players who are successful in their personal life (family, studies, businesses) are also successful on the playing field.

The four Ds must exist together, if any are faulty it will not be possible to be successful. The four Ds as I see them are: Desire – Drive – Dedication – Discipline

 Desires: These are the dreams, goals or goals we all have, have you ever thought about what yours are? Do you really want to catch up with them? Yes! Anything is possible, “wanting is power”. There are no impossible. Desire to be the best, to win, to have success. How strong is your desire?

Drive: You have made the decision to make it possible, to make “something” happen. Never give up, you deserve the best. Visualize, think, feel, act positively Always move forward looking to achieve your goals, such as get 3 more reps; to force yourself during your training and not back down. That is Drive – no easy roads.

Dedication:  Stay true to yourself and your goals. Do not be dissuaded by “friends” and “concerned family members” who want to distract you, getting what you want takes time and effort. Practice will make it possible for you to get better. So, try again and again until you make it.

Discipline:  The last on the list is the most important.  This is the element that joins the previous three. It is the “internal force” that we all have and that pushes us to continue, continue to try, not to give up and not to lose sight of the ultimate goal.

To be successful is to achieve the goals, to achieve this you must have desires, drive, dedication and discipline. The four Ds of success.

Sources:

The 4 Ds To Achieve Success: Desire, Determination, Dedication And Discipline (theodysseyonline.com) – Afia Altaf

Article: Four D Words Are Needed To Be Successful (thephantomwriters.com) Copyright 2005-2021 Gordon Bellows.

The Four “D’s” of Success | Ridgewood, NJ Patch

Sports Psychology in Action Copyright 1996 Richard Butler

Mental health in elite athletes: International Olympic Committee consensus statement (2019)

Authors:
Claudia L Reardon,  Brian Hainline,  Cindy Miller Aron, David Baron, Antonia L Baum, Abhinav Bindra, Richard Budgett, Niccolo Campriani, João Mauricio Castaldelli-Maia, Alan Currie, Jeffrey Lee Derevensky, Ira D Glick, Paul Gorczynski, Vincent Gouttebarge, Michael A Grandner, Doug Hyun Han, David McDuff, Margo Mountjoy, Aslihan Polat, Rosemary Purcell, Margot Putukian, Simon Rice, Allen Sills,Todd Stull, Leslie Swartz, Li Jing Zhu, Lars Engebretsen
Reference: Claudia L Reardon et al. Br J Sports Med 2019;53:667-699

Abstract

Mental health symptoms and disorders are common among elite athletes, may have sport related manifestations within this population and impair performance. Mental health cannot be separated from physical health, as evidenced by mental health symptoms and disorders increasing the risk of physical injury and delaying subsequent recovery. There are no evidence or consensus based guidelines for diagnosis and management of mental health symptoms and disorders in elite athletes. Diagnosis must differentiate character traits particular to elite athletes from psychosocial maladaptations.

Management strategies should address all contributors to mental health symptoms and consider biopsychosocial factors relevant to athletes to maximise benefit and minimise harm. Management must involve both treatment of affected individual athletes and optimising environments in which all elite athletes train and compete. To advance a more standardised, evidence based approach to mental health symptoms and disorders in elite athletes, an International Olympic Committee Consensus Work Group critically evaluated the current state of science and provided recommendations.

This is a very thorough and in depth study of Mental Health, a few things that stand out for me

The reported prevalence of mental health symptoms and disorders among male elite athletes from team sports (cricket, football, handball, ice hockey and rugby) varies from 5% for burnout and adverse alcohol use to nearly 45% for anxiety and depression.

Men’s:

The reported prevalence of mental health symptoms and disorders among male elite athletes from team sports (cricket, football, handball, ice hockey and rugby) varies from 5% for burnout and adverse alcohol use to nearly 45% for anxiety and depression.

Prospective studies have reported that mental health disorders occur in 5% to 35% of elite athletes over a follow-up period of up to 12 months.

The sports with the highest general substance use/misuse rates across all substances for men’s elite sports are lacrosse, ice hockey, football, rugby, baseball, soccer, wrestling, weightlifting, skiing, biathlon, bobsleigh and swimming, and lowest for track, tennis and basketball.

Women’s

For women’s elite sports, the highest rates occur in ice hockey, gymnastics, lacrosse, softball, swimming, and rowing, and lowest in track, tennis, basketball and golf.

As women continue to engage in elite sport opportunities, their participation has led to varying degrees of cultural acceptance.

Women competing in sports traditionally considered ‘male’ may face being marginalised and stereotyped and may experience unequal training opportunities and resources.

Sexualisation, traditional gender roles, religion and ethnic beliefs all influence opportunities for women.

Tension may also exist between what is functionally optimal for women elite athletes to be wearing and what is culturally deemed acceptable. Gender stereotyping in the media may influence how women athletes view themselves.

Women athletes may be stereotyped as ‘lesbian’ to keep them from playing certain sports, or from playing for certain coaches or with certain teams. Some professional women athletes must train outside their native countries and may struggle to find a support network and cultural understanding from teammates in their new location

Summary on Male and Female

In general, those who participate in team sports are more likely to use or misuse substances than athletes in individual sports.

Common risk factors for use include: sport context and culture (eg, normative beliefs about heavy peer drinking or illicit drug use); situational temptation (eg, drinking games); permissive on attitudes among athletes, coaches and parents; male sex; use of performance enhancing substances or tobacco; identification as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer; party lifestyle or drinking game participation; sensation seeking; overestimating peer use; achievement orientation; lower use of protective measures (eg, avoiding serious intoxication, using a designated driver); leadership position; fraternity/sorority membership; problem gambling; and injury.

Summary

The IOC has committed to improve the mental health of elite athletes, recognising that doing so will reduce suffering and improve quality of life in elite athletes and serve as a model for society at large. The IOC hopes that all involved in sport will increasingly recognise that mental health symptoms and disorders should be viewed in a similar light as other medical illnesses and musculoskeletal injuries; all can be severe and disabling, and nearly all can be managed properly by well informed medical providers, coaches and other stakeholders. Mental health is an integral dimension of elite athlete wellbeing and performance and cannot be separated from physical health.

Mental health assessment and management in elite athletes should be as commonplace and accessible as their other medical care; ideally elite athletes should have access to the best interdisciplinary care. To advance a more unified, evidence informed approach to mental health assessment and management in elite athletes, the IOC Consensus Group has critically evaluated the current state of the science and practice of mental health in elite athletes.

Click on the link for the full report: Report

Methods

Mental health management of elite athletes during COVID-19: a narrative review and recommendations

Reardon CL, et al. Br J Sports Med 2020;0:1–10. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2020-102884

Authors:
Claudia L Reardon, Abhinav Bindra, Cheri Blauwet,
Richard Budgett, Niccolo Campriani,Alan Currie, Vincent Gouttebarge, David McDuff,
Margo Mountjoy, Rosemary Purcell, Margot Putukian, Simon Rice, Brian Hainline

Article Abstract:

ABSTRACT: Elite athletes suffer many mental health symptoms and disorders at rates equivalent to or exceeding those of the general population. COVID-19 has created new strains on elite athletes, thus potentially increasing their vulnerability to mental health symptoms. This manuscript serves as a narrative review of the impact of the pandemic on management of those symptoms in elite athletes and ensuing recommendations to guide that management. It specifically addresses psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy, and higher levels of care. Within the realm of psychotherapy, crisis counselling might be indicated. Individual, couple/ family and group psychotherapy modalities all may be helpful during the pandemic, with novel content and means of delivery. Regarding pharmacotherapy for mental health symptoms and disorders, some important aspects of management have changed during the pandemic, particularly for certain classes of medication including stimulants, medications for bipolar and psychotic disorders, antidepressants, and medications for substance use disorders. Providers must consider when in-person management (eg, for physical examination, laboratory testing) or higher levels of care (eg, for crisis stabilisation) is necessary, despite potential risk of viral exposure during the pandemic. Management ultimately should continue to follow general principles of quality health care with some flexibility. Finally, the current pandemic provides an important opportunity for research on new methods of providing mental health care for athletes, and consideration for whether these new methods should extend beyond the pandemic.

The study states :

What is already known:

► Elite athletes suffer from many mental health symptoms and disorders at rates equivalent to or exceeding those in the general population.

► The COVID-19 pandemic has created several new stressors for elite athletes.

► Management for athletes during the COVID-19 pandemic has focused on cardiac complications, screening for asymptomatic disease and return to sport, incorporating hygiene measures

What are the new findings:

► The COVID-19 pandemic has created changes in the way in which management of mental health symptoms and disorders in elite athletes—inclusive of community-based or outpatient psychotherapy, outpatient pharmacotherapy and higher levels of care—should be delivered.

► Within the realm of psychotherapy, crisis counselling and other forms of individual psychotherapy, couple/family and group psychotherapy all may be helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic, with novel content and means of delivery.

► Some important aspects of pharmacotherapy for management of mental health symptoms and disorders in elite athletes have changed during the pandemic, particularly for certain classes of medication including stimulants, medications for bipolar and psychotic disorders, antidepressants and medications for substance use disorders.

► It is important for providers to consider when in-person management or higher levels of care for mental health symptoms and disorders are necessary for elite athletes, despite potential risk of viral exposure during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Full Article Click here bjsports-2020-102884.full