It’s a tricky topic that needs to be handled with care.
And the solution is definitely NOT one-size-fits-all.
So that means you needs skills.
What am I talking about?
“It’s ok to not be ok” – and it really is, but we’re not just talking about your participants here.
As sports and fitness coaches, there’s always at least two people in our sessions – us and our participants. If we coach groups, then there’ll be more than that, so how do we make sure everyone gets the support they need in the way that they need it?
We need tools in our arsenal – and lots of them, so we know when it’s most appropriate to use which ones.
And it’s often easier to look after other people than it is ourselves, so if the only tool in your mental health arsenal is talking about it, but you’ve been having a rough week and you don’t have the energy or brain space to be effective counsel for someone else, then we need a different tool.
One that we can deploy instantly, without hesitation is recognition.
We can all sense the atmosphere in a room when we enter it.
We can all tell when someone looks like they’re about to cry.
But that’s the thing with people who are struggling with mental health issues… they’re VERY good at hiding it.
You only get to see what they WANT you to see.
Unless you know what to look for…
This is a great example of the kinds of fidgety habits that NO ONE can hide, whether they’re struggling with emotional turmoil, restricted physical movement or pain.
So, if you’re not up for talking about mental health today, or your participants aren’t ready to talk to YOU about their issues, that’s okay.
At least now you know that there’s a simple way to recognise and acknowledge that something’s not quite right – and that goes a long way towards doing something about it.