Hilinski’s Hope brings you Unit3d - a podcast where sport psychologists and mental health professionals team up to hold conversations for student athletes on mental health. Many of us share common concerns, these discussions are a reminder that we are not alone, but unit3d in this world together. Welcome to the Hilinski’s hope, mind, spirit, and performance playbook. If you have any questions or topics you would like for us to discuss, please email us at email@example.com. Unit3d is hosted by Dr. Josie Nicholson, licensed psychologist and sport psychologist for the Ole Miss Rebels.
In It Together:Jack Beer
Professional soccer player Jack Beer wanted to fit in with his team and thrive as a person when he began his college career at Georgetown University. After his freshman year however, he began to question whether he wanted to keep playing and doubt and injury took a toll on his mental health. He was able to talk with his coaches and take a step back from the game. When he returned the support he received from his teammates allowed him to fight anxiety, depression and mental health challenges head on. Learning that his experience was “normal” and that his teammates understood him more than he had previously thought paved a path back to health and his love for soccer, leading him to a professional soccer career and a passion for mental health advocacy.
Fuel for Performance:Fuel for Life
Fueling our bodies is so important for athletes for performance, but it is also important for our mental health. We often worry a great deal about what we are eating but we often disregard how nutrition impacts our mood. How we think about food as well as our relationship with food also can affect our mental health. Kate Callaway, Director of Performance Nutrition for the Carolina Panthers discusses nutrition and its impact on mental health on this episode of Unit3d.
Classes are rolling as the semester rolls on. Athletes have likely lost the initial idea of getting ahead, and it seems like there’s enough semester left to leave some tasks for later. Well, avoidance is common. We avoid in our relationships, in academics, and personal growth. Joining us for this UNIT3D episode is Dr. Tom Golightly, who gives tips for recognizing avoidance and strategies for overcoming these behaviors.
Transitioning out of sport often has a negative impact on an athletes mental health. Similar to losing the athlete uniform, transitioning outs of the military can be difficult as one’s identity shifts. Nate Boyer knows both of these journeys as he played Division I football, and then spent a year in the NFL after having served as a Green Beret deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. He has taken his passion for helping those transitioning out of sport in the military and created a unique nonprofit called Merging Players and Vets (MVP). Hear about this and the powerful movie (MVP streaming on Showtime, Paramount + and other platforms) that illustrates just how important this effort is on this episode of Unit3d.
When student-athletes come together to support each other, meaningful change can happen. At Duke University, there are several groups that support different aspects of student-athlete mental health. Dr. Shawn Zeplin talks about how student-athletes can start a mental health group on their own campus and the benefits to the entire department/community that can come from student-athlete involvement.
Fail To Be Funny:David Hamilton
Improv may be an unexpected topic for our Unit3d listeners, but there a many similarities between the sports world and improv. Athletes can learn a great deal from those who perform improv, whether it’s thinking quickly on your feet or responding to changing situations. Similar to athletes, improvisers conquer fears to put themselves out there, take risks, and succeed by failing. Improviser, actor, owner of Anubis Improv and instructor David Hamilton joins us this week to talk about the power of letting go and being willing to fail.
Great for Student Athletes
I love the authenticity and the stories all of the guests talk about. Been listening for 2 years and this is awesome.
This is one of my favorite podcasts! Timely topics and guests who are experts in athlete mental health—great balance of licensed mental health professionals and those with lived experience.
This is a must listen podcast if you care about Ayers well-being!
Absolutely a great podcast