Trust, reliance and shared achievements are cornerstones of sports success, whether in high school or major league play.
But off the field, athletes—especially males in the high-risk 15-24 age range—can internalize problems, isolate and resisting help.
SUCK IT UP. TOUGH IT OUT. THERE IS NO “I” IN TEAM.
These are messages athletes receive from coaches, teammates, parents and fans, and these can become expectations in sports culture. Yet these norms can undermine help-seeking behaviors vital to best addressing stressors in an athlete’s life.
Recent high-profile suicides of sports figures—including former NFL stars Junior Seau in May 2012 and Kenny McKinley in Sept. 2010—have spurred NFL players, past and present, to record compelling video testimonials about social isolation, reaching out, and overcoming life issues with help from others. Check out NFL players Brett Favre, Michael Irvin, Jevon Kearse, Herschel Walker, Cris Carter and Michael Strahan go off the books with inspiring messages about social isolation, reaching out and overcoming issues with help from others.
Coaches and parents are encouraged to share these videos with student athletes and all youth.