Expanding the Reach for Mental Wellness for Better Performance in Sport & Life


It’s much more than just the specific sport; it’s about reinforcing positive attitude and lessons for life.

Throughout the season, it is vital to maintain open and effective communication channels with your Team Allies and your Mental Health Allies. Promoting open communication channels will:

  • Send a message to your team that you are committed to improving the mental health of your athletes
  • Foster a culture of acceptance and openness
  • Give you insight into the mental health of your athlete’s, allowing you to tailor your training regime accordingly and creating optimal performance

What is Open Communication?

Communication is defined as the flow of information between the sender and receiver through a medium and thought of as a linear process. There are multiple styles of communication, however studies in organizations and workplaces illustrated that open communication maintains equilibrium, satisfying all parties and creating a better work environment. Open communication means:

  • Allowing for honest, consensual and unrestricted discussion between both parties, each having the opportunity to share their opinions and ideas and feeling heard
  • Promotes resilience, tolerance, reduces conflicts and facilitates mutual understanding

Understanding Communication Flow

Although communication is a linear process, it is not uni-directional. In order to maintain open communication within your team, it’s important to create clear communication channels with both your Team Allies and Mental Health Allies to facilitate the well-being of your athletes. Open communication entails:

Downward Communication

Upward Communication

Diagonal Communication


Tips to Maintain Open Communication with your Team to Support Mental Health

Which Team Allies, Mental Health Allies and External Allies (ie. family) do you need to communicate with and in what scenario?

Ie. Communicating with your Team Leadership (assistant coaches, Captains and athletic therapists) to encourage them to RAR, and invite them to discuss any mental health concerns with any members of the team either as a group or in private

Ie. Your athlete is struggling with a mental health problem. You and your athlete decide to meet with your athlete’s Mental Health Allies and family to discuss a plan for the season.

How frequently do you need to meet with your Team Allies and Mental Health Allies?

*Remember, part of open communication is discussing and deciding these factors with your team

Ie. Biweekly or monthly meetings with the leadership team

What medium will you use to communicate with your Team Allies and Mental Health allies, ensuring confidentiality?

Ie. In person, phone, email, group chat platforms

Clarify expectations of each other and your individual roles to support your athlete’s mental health. Decide how you will handle conflict and disagreement.