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Youth Sports Mental Health & Wellness Alliance

In 2020, the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters came together to create a platform to focus on mental wellness for youth athletes. From a shared vision, the Youth Sports: Coaching Positive Mental Health forum series was developed in partnership with Michael Cuddyer, former MLB All-Star, and Betsy Cutler, M.Ed., of Cutler Wellness Programs, LLC. The goal of the forum series was to bring awareness to the mental health crisis in youth sports and to provide resources to youth sports stakeholders, coaches, parents, and athletes. Over the course of 14 months, three programs were presented, A Pandemic Playbook, Bench the Stigma, and #WhoRU.

Following the success of these programs the Hall, CHKD, and Cutler Wellness Programs spearheaded the formation of the Youth Sports Mental Health & Wellness Alliance. The Alliance will bring together youth sports stakeholders throughout the community to promote positive mental health and wellness in sports, and to work toward the following objectives:
Alliance Objectives:

  • Identify mental health trends and concerns in youth sports.
  • Provide expertise and ideas for mental health and wellness programs for coaches, parents, and athletes.
  • Share mental health educational resources.
  • Promote, market, and advocate for youth sports mental health and wellness programs

In 2023 the Alliance will keep the conversation around youth sports and mental health active throughout the year with #MentalHealthMonday social media posts. Each post will feature content centered around a specific topic related to youth sports and mental health. You will hear insight and expertise from stakeholders in and around youth sports in Virginia. #MentalHealthMonday posts can be found weekly on the Hall of Fame’s Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn pages. Join us as we help to create a positive and healthy atmosphere throughout youth sports in Virginia.

January - Emotional Intelligence

01-02-2023 - Relationship Building

Chris Panayiotou – VA Rush Soccer Club

Kicking off January, we focus on Emotional Intelligence, and how coaches can use the 5 principles of Emotional Intelligence to create a better atmosphere for their athletes. The 5 principles are Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation, Motivation, Empathy, and Social Skills. Chris Panayiotou from Virginia Rush Soccer Club, describes how coaching with Emotional Intelligence builds stronger relationships within the team.
Full conversation with Chris Panayiotou: https://youtu.be/9gLgxmlGtsE

01-09-2023 - Empathy

Chris Panayiotou – VA Rush Soccer Club

We continue our January focus on Emotional Intelligence, with a look at Empathy. Empathy is one of the 5 principles of Emotional Intelligence, along with Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation, Motivation, and Social Skills. Chris Panayiotou from Virginia Rush Soccer Club details how empathy helps coaches develop stronger relationships with their players.
Full conversation with Chris Panayiotou: https://youtu.be/9gLgxmlGtsE

01-16-2023 - Emotional Intelligence & Mental Toughness

Dr. Andrea Arcona – Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters

Continuing our January focus on Emotional Intelligence, we discuss how these principles relate to the commonly used term “mental toughness”. It’s a phrase used throughout sports, but how do we differentiate between mental toughness and emotional intelligence? Dr. Andrea Arcona from The Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, explains how both principles can be used to improve overall performance for youth and student athletes.
Full conversation with Dr. Arcona: https://youtu.be/IGkt1X_Ha3E

01-23-2023 - Emotional Intelligence, Student-Athlete Tips

Dr. Andrea Arcona – Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters

Continuing our January focus on Emotional Intelligence, we have more from CHKD’s, Dr. Andrea Arcona. Dr. Arcona explains how coaches and athletes can work together to improve a young athlete’s approach to emotional intelligence, and in-turn improve their overall performance and contribution to the team.
Full conversation with Dr. Arcona: https://youtu.be/IGkt1X_Ha3E

01-30-2023 - Emotional Intelligence, Social Skills

Chris Panayiotou – Virginia Rush Soccer Club

Finishing the month of January and our focus on Emotional Intelligence, we look at Social Skills, with more from our conversation with Chris Panayiotou from Virginia Rush Soccer Club
Social Skills is one of the 5 principles of Emotional Intelligence, and developing strong social skills allows coaches and athletes to build meaningful relationships and develop a stronger understanding of themselves and others.
Full conversation with Chris: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gLgxmlGtsE
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