Mental Health in Sport with HONE’s Jessica Renney & Paula McQuaid

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by: Beyond the X's and O's

The culture for sport is one of the biggest indicators for an athlete’s mental health.

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The Coaches Site is proud to welcome Beyond the X’s and O’s with Dr. Cassidy Preston and Chris DePiero to our network of podcasts! Stay tuned for weekly episodes as they help coaches develop the “soft” skills of leadership.

Jessica Renney and Paula McQuaid are the co-founds HONE Athletics, are both practicing Psychotherapists, and are Professional Members of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. Growing up, Jessica was an avid athlete and her dad coached 13+ years in the NHL. Paula was also an avid athlete and has had the opportunity to work with Hockey Canada as a Mental Performance Consultant with the Women’s U-18 National Team, winning a bronze medal (2018), gold medal (2019) and silver medal (2020) at IIHF World Championships. They combined their athletic and professional experiences to create Hone Athletics.

In our final episode of our declaration of war against the old school coaching mentality, Jessica and Paula really spoke to the importance of mental health and the needed shift in sport. Here are some key takeaways:

  • The culture for sport is one of the biggest indicators for an athlete’s mental health
  • Athletes want to talk about their mental health and have that support
  • That athletes need sport specific mental health strategies
  • How mental health has been neglected, underserved and untapped in sport
  • The importance for coaches to take care of their own mental health
  • It is the coaches responsibility to a make a difference in the culture, but a lot don’t know how to do it
  • Mental health and mental performance are not about ‘fixing people’
  • Coaches have an enormous opportunity to shift the culture and have impact on their athletes outside of sport

This honest and insightful discussion around mental health in sport is exactly why we dedicated this season to fight against the ‘Old-School’ ways of thinking. We get what we tolerate and coaches need to take responsibility. Please share this episode with your fellow coaches, players and parents.

Find out more about Hone Athletics here: https://honeathletics.com/

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