HealthLevel Up Your Mental Fitness to Reach NBA Standards

Level Up Your Mental Fitness to Reach NBA Standards

The Life Behind the Game

Being an NBA player is a multi-faceted experience. Players are athletes, performers, and brand icons. They may be millionaires with incredible physical fitness, but they also face mental health challenges that impact them on and off the court. Anxiety, depression, and workplace stress are not selective, they affect everyone, NBA players included.

In recognition of this, the NBA took a significant step in 2018 by recommending all teams to hire a mental health professional, which became a mandatory rule a year later. This initiative gave birth to the NBA’s pioneering Mind Health program, spearheaded by Kensa Gunter, Psy.D., an Atlanta-based clinical and sports psychologist. “Players are human beings, and mental health is part of the human experience,” Gunter emphasizes.

The NBA’s mental health and performance professionals, such as Ronald Kimmons, Psy.D., from the Utah Jazz, provide essential support for players. Kimmons addresses the challenges faced by NBA players at different stages of their careers, emphasizing the importance of transitioning away from the game and finding new opportunities after retirement.

Chantelle Green, Ph.D., who works with the Portland Trail Blazers, highlights the importance of recognizing and managing emotional struggles, especially during low points, ensuring that players find their balance between disappointment and resilience.

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