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Coaching athletes is different today than it was even five, 10-years ago. When you started coaching, you probably did not observe or receive instruction on watching out for your athletes mental health. Your biggest concerns were the X's and O's and making sure each kid was physically fit. However, athletes at all levels have been speaking out about how athletics has affected them mentally.


Dr. Steve Graef, a Columbus-based psychologist, offers these tips for coaches. Watch, listen and observe. Coaches can gain valuable insight into their athletes by establishing a relationship and doing daily/weekly check ins to see how the athlete is doing. Dr. Graef suggested observing if the athletes behavior or attitude is changing is an indicator that a change is occurring.


C&A is partnering with Dr. Graef to produce videos and tip sheets for coaches to better guide and understand their athletes.



How can a coach tell if an
athlete is struggling?

How can a coach help an athlete through an injury?

How should a coach communicate with athletes who are physically, emotionally and developmentally at different stages?

The challenges of coaches coaching a two-sport athlete. What are the best ways to handle this?

How should coaches manage team social media accounts and provide tips for athletes on postings.

Each year, a new senior class steps forward. How does a coach make each senior year special for that class?

Tip Sheets