Playing a sport and exercising regularly not only impacts the mental health of an individual but also positively develops the persona. Apart from the physical benefits to the physique, sports helps in improving concentration and helps keep a person mentally sharp. Furthermore, it boosts the confidence and self-esteem of the individual along with doing the vital function of the reduction of stress. Thus, on the occasion of World Mental Health Day, 10th October 2020, Sportopia organized a special session and celebrated the day with the objective of raising awareness on mental health in Sports for athletes and coaches. The day was celebrated specially to encourage the importance of mental well-being and reduce the social stigma on mental health. The keynote speaker of the event was Ms Sanskriti Chhabra who is also Gaudium’s very own Sports Psychologist. She is a former National Badminton Player who has taken up the mantle to facilitate the performance of sportspersons through Sports Psychology.
The session organized for the Sportopia Coaches was a highly informative one. The coaches were introduced to the concept of Sports Psychology. The various benefits of being aware and mindful regarding mental health when it comes to sports were enlisted and discussed in detail. A very interesting activity (Feelings Wheel) conducted for the coaches led them to understand how to recognize and help in communicating what one is feeling which would further help them in analyzing the young athletes’ minds and navigate them to being capable of being in control and eventually to success. Ms Sanskriti also discussed with the coaches in-depth regarding the critical and correct time of approaching a sports psychologist which they all acknowledged being true. It was a highly informative as well as interactive session with the coaches who absorbed all the inputs and were ready to implement them in their coaching henceforth, equipped with the tools to identify the feelings in their athletes and themselves.
The session with the young athletes started with a rapport formation activity. Some ice-breaking fun activities which would help the athletes bond and have a splendid time together were conducted which eventually led them to identify and express their emotions well. The young Sportopia athletes were briefed on the subject of Sports Psychology and explained why and how this subject works with athletes. The significance lies in handling their emotions well by being mindful and capable of using them in the proper way. Apart from the technicalities and talent in sports, the way emotions are handled plays a vital role in success as well as life in general. The same was demonstrated with various activities. The activity of saying out loud their acts of kindness and then carefully dissecting the act based on how it made the other person feel and how doing it for others made them feel about it was discussed. The athletes concluded the session by expressing the key takeaway of the activity conducted; which was; doing an act of kindness is not just a great thing to do for someone else, but it makes one feel good about themselves too!
Thus the World Mental Health Day was celebrated in this wonderfully organized session for Sportopia athletes and coaches where the participants realized the importance of mental well-being in all areas of life and also specially in sports.