BLOGPOST – Thinking small about stress and burnout

We’re constantly told to think big.

We’re told we need to dare to dream big, shoot for the moon, all that cheesy, Hallmark, straight to DVD, Channel-5 afternoon matinee stuff. It’s a message we’ve been given since we were all kids.  

The problem is, we’re actually crap at thinking big. We’re really bad at thinking in big terms. We’re shit at big numbers and we’re awful at comprehending the scale of big things, We are bad at big ideas. 

2.15 – Super Special Bonus Winter Olympic Review!

In this Super Special Winter Olympic Review, Dr Pete Olusoga is joined by Dr Chelsi Day, Sport Psychologist at ‘The’ Ohio State University, and Dr Leah Washington, resident Olympic Superfan and professor of sports medicine and sport psychology to talk about the ups, downs, ins, outs, and triple Salchows of the Beijing 2022 Winer Olympics. From drug scandals to ‘minor’ broken necks, and managing the post-Olympic comedown, this episode has a little bit of everything. Make sure you stay tuned to the end to find out how Leah is going to save the Olympics!  

Oh, and dog sledding was a demonstration event in the 1932 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. So now you know. 

2.14 – Mental health and wellbeing in sport

A ‘win at all costs’ culture can make it almost impossible for people in high-performance environments like sport to show any sort of vulnerability, to concede that pressure takes a toll, to admit that they are not in fact superhuman. But many sports performers are beginning to change this narrative. In the penultimate episode of Series 2, Dr Pete Olusoga is joined by expert guests, Shakiba Moghadam and Dr Paul Gorczynski, for an open and honest conversation around mental health and well-being in sport  

Shakiba Moghadam is a doctoral student focusing on the mental health literacy of women rugby players. She has a BSc in Psychology and an MSc in Sport & Exercise Psychology and is the co-owner of Move Training Centre, a private Training facility in Southampton.  

Dr Paul Gorczynski is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Portsmouth and an HCPC registered Practitioner Psychologist. Paul was an expert member of the IOC consensus statement on mental health in elite athletes and is the co-author of the BASES Mental Health in Sport and Exercise psychology units. 

2.13 – The greatest sports movie of all time?

At the start of Series 2, we ran a poll to find the Greatest Sports Movie of All Time… The Movie GOAT. Somehow, Remember the Titans won… still not sure how that happened, but pretty sure it’s your fault. Anyway, in this episode, Dr Pete is joined by Dr Meghan Halbrook, Dr Tammy Sheehy, and (not the first) returning guest, Todd Cauthorn, to discuss what we can learn from some of the great sports movies out there… and maybe more importantly, which is the Movie GOAT!

Dr Meghan Halbrook is a Certified Mental Performance Consultant, an Assistant Professor in Sport and Exercise Studies ,and the Director of the MA in Coaching and Sport Leadership Program at Randolph College.

Dr Tammy Sheehy, originally from New Zealand is an Assistant Professor at Bridgewater College where she directs the coaching minor and teaches classes in coaching and sport psychology.

Todd Cauthorn, from Roanoke Virginia, played basketball at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, and then had stops playing pro basketball in Austria and Belgium on his way to playing for the Sheffield Sharks for 12 seasons.

2.12 – Do we deserve better from our sporting heroes?

From diving to doping to serious crimes, hardly a day goes by without an athlete getting themselves into some sort of trouble. In this episode Dr Pete is joined by Sport, Clinical and Forensic Psychologist, Dr Mitch Abrams, and Assistant Professor of sport and exercise psychology at Georgia Southern University, Dr Megan Byrd, to ask: do we deserve better from our sporting heroes? We talk about whether or not sport is inherently “good”, whether athletes should be role models, organisational deviance, and a whole lot more in this fascinating episode of Eighty Percent Mental 

Mitch is an expert in anger, violence and trauma, specifically as it presents in the sports world. Besides writing Anger Management in Sport in 2010, he also is the Chief Psychologist in the prison system in New Jersey, where he has worked for the past 21 years. Megan is a certified mental performance consultant and the co-director of mental performance for South Georgia Tormenta FC.   

Trigger Warning: This episode contains non-detailed references to sexual assault and rape. If you are in any way affected by the content of this episode, you can contact the Rape Crisis Centre at https://rapecrisis.org.uk for information and support. 

2.11 – EPM Special: Conversations on Racism in Sport

The conversation should always be about more than just sport. In this EPM Special, Dr Pete Olusoga is joined by organisational psychologist and best-selling New York Times author, John Amaechi OBE, for an honest and inspiring conversation about racism, anti-racism, and what we all could or should be doing to make our communities fairer for everybody.  

2.10 – How do I bring psychology into the weight room?

Dr Pete and Hugh Gilmore (featuring in his final episode) investigate how we might bring psychology into the weight room. Lead Strength and Conditioning coach at Sheffield Hallam University, Dave Hembrough, and ALTIS Programs Director and Performance Coach, Nick Ward, discuss the mental challenges they encounter, their use of psych ‘skills’, and what they wish they’d known about the mental side of performance when they started their coaching journeys. This one is not to be missed! 

2.09 – Diversity and cultural awareness in sport – The Director’s Cut

When words like diversity, inclusion, and cultural awareness are mentioned, they’re often met with a mix of confusion, defensiveness, and responses like “well I just treat everyone the same, I don’t see difference.” In this episode Dr Pete is joined by Dr Ale Quartiroli and Shameema Yousuf to talk about the need for Cultural Awareness, and the importance of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the spaces that we work in.

Sometimes in life, you just have to go with what you’ve got. So that’s what we’ve done with this Director’s Cut version of this episode. Enjoy!

2.08 – EPM Special: Pete & Hugh’s Olympic Review!

Less than a week after the closing ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 2021 Olympics, Dr Pete and Hugh are joined, once again, by Dr Chelsi Day, Sport Psychologist at ‘The’ Ohio State University, and Dr Leah Washington, a professor of sports medicine and sport psychology, to chat about literally everything that happened at the Games. We discuss our favourite moments and yours, the twisties, the impact of the new sports, and the need for more sparkles all round… and a whole lot more too. Enjoy!

2.07 – What’s all this fuss over Resilience?

Dr Pete and Hugh find out everything you’ll ever need to know about resilience, with help from Dr Mustafa ‘Resilience’ Sarkar, a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Professor of Sport and Performance Psychology at Nottingham Trent University, and Wendy Searle, the 7th woman in history to ski 700 miles, unsupported, from Hercules Inlet to the geographic South Pole.

If you want to know what resilience is, what it isn’t, how to demonstrate and build resilience in individuals and teams, and how to make a tube of pringles last for several weeks, this is the episode for you.

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