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Mental Health Newsbeat

Sunday, April 12, 2015

M.L.B. Teams Nurture Players’ Mental Health - NYTimes.com

For Cubs General Manager Jed Hoyer, Josh Lifrak is just like the hitting coach John Mallee or the pitching coach Chris Bosio.

Lifrak is the director of the team’s mental-skills program, while Mallee and Bosio are two vital members of Manager Joe Maddon’s coaching staff. Hoyer looks at each of them in a similar way, and he knows what that means in terms of a shift in thinking when it comes to mental health and major league baseball.

“I think that it used to be the kind of thing that people would talk to people. They didn’t, like, advertise it,” Hoyer said. “Some guys were ashamed of it, and some people didn’t want to have any part of it. I think now it’s almost impossible to find someone who doesn’t understand that your mental-skills coach is no different than a hitting coach or a pitching coach. He’s a guy that can really help your players get better.

“That’s a shift from, like, partial acceptance to, like, total acceptance in a very short amount of time.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 12, 2015 at 08:43 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: mental health

Sunday, April 05, 2015

The New Yorker: Ways to Stay Sane in Baseball

This offseason, a few ball clubs announced new initiatives to support their players’ mental health. The Red Sox created a new department of behavioral health, headed by Richard Ginsburg, the co-director of the PACES Institute of Sports Psychology, at Massachusetts General Hospital. The Washington Nationals began spring training with a new position known as “life skills” coördinator. The former player Rick Ankiel was hired for the job, and will work specifically with the club’s minor-league teams—where such a position is arguably needed the most. Most minor-league players earn less than two thousand dollars a month and have to cover their own housing and living expenses. Insufficient funds and relatively few days off during a five-month season—which extends well beyond that if you consider spring training and winter ball—separates players from their families and loved ones for long stretches of time. And, after you’ve dedicated your life to the game, there’s the pressure that comes from the belief that you’ve only achieved success if you make it to the majors—a dream that, even for a player in the minor leagues, will likely never be realized.

Remember how curious it seemed when McGwire admitted to seeing a sports psychologist for years?

Cloude Atlas (Voxter) Posted: April 05, 2015 at 11:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mental health, minor leagues, nationals, red sox

 

 

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