The University of Alabama Athletic Department has been the gold-standard in collegiate athletics for some time. Aside from being one of the highest revenue-generating departments, they win championships across all sports and produce Academic All-Americans at the same rates as the likes of Vanderbilt and Stanford. However, another area in which they have become the gold standard is the development of mental health initiatives for all student-athletes.
Our guest this week on The Secrets to Winning is Ginger Gilmore-Childress, the Director of Behavioral Medicine for The University of Alabama Athletics and a pioneer of mental health initiatives across the landscape of collegiate sports. Athletic departments across the country are studying, learning, and trying to replicate what Ginger has built – a gold-standard, groundbreaking department built on the mental well-being of student-athletes.
There are many social pressures in the lives of the modern-day student-athlete. The pressures they face aren’t necessarily on-the-field issues but can be more related to pressure from family, academics, desire to perform for professional scouts, and other social issues. Ginger and her staff do an unbelievable job in the care of student-athletes.
This podcast is sure to give you a different perspective of the collegiate athlete, one in which I hope will shed light on the many stressors encountered by athletes.
2:20 – What stressors athletes endure and how they should cope
4:50 – How athletes are different from years past
6:40 – The transition from athletic trainer to behavioral medicine expert
8:00 – How Alabama’s Behavioral Medicine program was pioneered
10:10 – High school needs in terms of mental health
11:35 – The role she plays in a student-athlete’s life
12:50 – Red flags for student-athletes
15:50 – Evolution of coaching and coaches view mental health
19:00 – Mental health issues in professional sports
23:20 – How Ginger started her career as the first female athletic trainer in SEC Baseball
24:30 – Ginger’s empathetic role with University of Alabama Football
28:40 – The pressures that elite-level athletes face today
32:00 – Advice for those looking to get into the field