Monday, 22 Jul 2024

Why Coaches Should Prioritize their Own Mental Wellness Too

As a coach, it’s easy to overlook your own mental health and wellness while focusing on your athletes. However, taking care of your own well-being is essential for your effectiveness as a coach. Dr. Kevin Chapman, a clinical psychologist and founder of The Kentucky Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders, emphasizes the importance of coaches prioritizing their mental health. Let’s explore why this is significant and what you can do about it.

You’re not invincible—and don’t have to be

Coaches, just like anyone else, are vulnerable to a range of emotions. It’s important to normalize these emotions and understand that seeking professional help is not a sign of weakness but an opportunity for growth. Reframing mental health treatment as coaching or mental toughness training can make it more acceptable for coaches who struggle with seeking help.

Your mental health impacts your work

The mental health of a coach directly affects their ability to perform their job effectively. Impaired mental health can hinder decision-making, tactical awareness, and even the identification of potential injuries in athletes. To be competent in your role, it’s necessary to enhance your mental health and wellness.

Athletes emulate you—for better or worse

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Coaches serve as role models for their athletes. If you’re not prioritizing your own mental wellness, it’s unlikely that your athletes will take it seriously either. The “do as I say, not as I do” approach doesn’t work. By consistently demonstrating the importance of mental health, coaches can encourage their athletes to prioritize their own well-being.

Transparency is powerful

Sharing your own struggles with your athletes can strengthen your relationship with them. It’s not necessary to divulge all the details, but acknowledging that you’re going through something creates relatability and fosters trust. Athletes appreciate honesty and are more likely to rally around a coach they perceive as human.


Prioritizing your own mental health as a coach is crucial for your overall well-being and effectiveness. By taking care of yourself, you become a better coach and a stronger leader for your athletes.


Q: How does a coach’s mental health impact their athletes?

A: A coach’s mental health influences their ability to make sound decisions, effectively teach tactics, and ensure the safety and well-being of their athletes.

Q: Should coaches seek professional help for their mental health?

A: Yes, seeking professional help for mental health is important for coaches. It provides an opportunity for personal growth and enhances their ability to perform their coaching duties.

Q: How can coaches encourage their athletes to prioritize mental health?

A: Coaches can lead by example and openly discuss the importance of mental health with their athletes. By normalizing the conversation, athletes are more likely to recognize the value of mental well-being.

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As a coach, it’s essential to prioritize your own mental health. Seeking professional help, normalizing emotions, and leading by example are all crucial steps. By taking care of your mental well-being, you become a better coach and inspire your athletes to prioritize their own mental health. For more information on mental wellness in sports, visit