Mental Health in Sports

In sports, mental health is a critical component that influences performance and overall well-being. Prioritizing mental health not only sharpens focus and resilience but also forms the cornerstone of what makes an athlete succeed.


Mental health defined

mental health is a state of mental wellbeing that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realize their abilities, learn well and work well, and contribute to their community. It is an integral component of health and well-being that underpins our individual and collective abilities to make decisions, build relationships and shape the world we live in.
World Health Organization (WHO), 2022

Mental Health

An Athlete’s most
valuable Resource

Mental health is one of the most important resources for athletes in terms of their performance and their development (Schinke et al., 2017 ).
An athlete's mental state affects how they cope, stay motivated, make decisions, and feel confident. Ignoring mental well-being can lead to lower performance, increased risk of injuries, and long-term psychological issues. Putting mental health first helps athletes build resilience, perform better, and lead a satisfying life both in and out of sports.
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Papers & articles

Explore a wide collection of interesting articles, papers, interviews, podcasts, and videos revolving around mental health, performance, and sports.
Sports & Mental Health

How Injuries affect mental health

At Rio 2016, Helen Richardson-Walsh was a member of the first Great Britain women’s hockey team to win Olympic gold. But in the years prior to those Games, career-threatening injuries left Helen with crippling depression. Here, she reflects on the moment that she realised she needed help and how we can continue to challenge the stigma surrounding mental health.

Helen Richardson-Walsh, 2023
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Sports & Mental Health

J'den Cox batteling depression

American athlete J’den Cox battled depression while learning to cope with partially losing his hearing during his career as a wrestler. Here, the world champion and Olympic medallist discusses overcoming challenges and becoming a mental health advocate.

J'den Cox, 2023
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Sports & Mental Health

Let's talk about PTSD in sport

Here, René Holten Poulsen - a Danish sprint canoeist, three-time Olympian and multiple world champion - opens up about his challenging experience at Rio 2016. Due to illness and over-training, he ultimately finished outside the medals, eliciting a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) reaction. Find out what steps he took to recover and discover his new mission.

René Holten Poulsen, 2022
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Sports & Mental Health

Future challenges of athlete mental health

In this article an international Think Tank of Sport Psychologists are discussing mental health in sport context. They state that mental health is a core component of a culture of excellence. Fostering athlete mental health is a major resource for the whole athletic career and life post-athletic career.

(Henriksen, et al., 2019)
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Sports & Mental Health

Elite athletes’ mental health in Swiss sports

This paper addresses the growing concern surrounding mental health in elite sports. The study explores current mental health provisions in Switzerland, finding a pressing need for basic interventions such as mental health screening and improved mental health literacy.

(Röthlin, et al., 2023)
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Sports & Mental Health


The ability to self-regulate is essential for the performance and well-being of athletes. Elite athletes and coaches often mention self-regulation as one of the most important factors for their success. For example, top college football coach Lou Holtz said “Without self-discipline, success is impossible, period.” Similarly, researchers and  practitioners have focused their attention on gaining a better understanding of athletes’ self-regulatory functioning in sport, exercise, and physical education contexts.

(Gaudreau, 2014)
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March 4, 2024

Andrew Rogers on Mental Health Development

Andrew Rogers, a Clinical & Forensic Psychologist with over two decades of experience spanning elite sport, talks about mental health for sports performers. In this podcast he explores the unique challenges elite athletes face and how coaches and support staff can play a pivotal role in their wellbeing.

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September 8, 2021

Dr Suzanne Brown - Mental Health in Sport

Suzanne Brown is a clinical psychologist specialising in mental health and performance. She works with elite organisations in sport, business and education. In this podcast, she speaks about mental health in sport and how understanding yourself better can help you flourish personally and professionally.

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February 2, 2022

Mental health and wellbeing in sport

In this podcast, Dr. Pete Olusoga, along with a series of expert guests, will answer all the questions you could possibly have about the role of the mind in sport, performance, and health.

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November 11, 2022

Beatrice Scalvedi über ihr Karriereende

In this short podcast series, SFIS sports psychologist Philipp Röthlin and guests shed light on the topic of mental health in competitive sport from different perspectives (in German).

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April 14, 2021

What is an emotion?

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September 10, 2013

The Iron Minds

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July 25, 2022

The unique psychology of extreme endurance athletes

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January 15, 2019

What makes elite athletes thrive or dive under pressure?

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September 8, 2020

Mental toughness is the secret to success

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