This week is national mental health awareness week and so we wanted to share some information on how the Beagles are focused on achieving a balance of mental and physical health for our athletes through the activities of club. This is the first in a series of articles we will be publishing this week to help explain the positive culture we want to cultivate at the club. If you have any questions about the content of our articles this week or want any further support, please do reach out to our mental wellbeing ambassador Jennie – jennie@beagles.org.uk

Training, exams and other priorities

We know that this time of year is a key period for many of our athletes who are focused on exams and demonstrating that they’re at their academic best. 

At Brentwood Beagles we support all our athletes in taking time out when they need to, which is why we don’t demand our athletes attend every training session and why we know at certain times of year even the most dedicated athlete will need to cut sessions short or not attend at all in order to put exams (or other priorities) first. No athlete’s place in the club is at risk from lack of attendance for such reasons. 

We would like to remind you that our club is athlete centric and will always put your needs first – if you just want to come to training to get away from revision but you don’t want to train hard – tell your coach! They will adapt the session for you and give you something to just give you a break and to allow you to have some fun and reset. If training times on a certain week don’t work for you – then let us know – if we can’t adapt them to suit you then we can give you a plan of drills or strength and conditioning exercises to work on in your own time and at your own pace. 

We are here to support you in whichever ways we can. Your mental health is as important as your physical health and therefore as an athletics club we want to help you improve that as much as we want to help you get a new personal best. 

So how does sport help when you have other priorities?

  • It gives you a chance to take a breath, switch off and reset. Sometimes focusing solely on a different activity for an hour can help you refocus and refresh your headspace. Organised sport works well for this because you just have to follow someone else’s instructions.
  • Sport brings you together with other people going through similar experiences. Face to face interaction helps personal connections and gives the opportunity to share and air concerns with others.
  • Sport physically fatigues you meaning when you go to bed the quality of your sleep is often better as you fall asleep faster and are likely to sleep deeper. Good sleep means you are more rested and therefore better able to cope with your daily activity be that a big meeting or an important exam.
  • Sport boosts your wellbeing and helps to reduce stress. Exercise reduces the levels of stress hormones in the body and stimulates production of endorphins which naturally lift our mood and helps us feel more relaxed and optimistic.
  • Sport improves concentration – regular sporting activity keeps key mental acuity sharp that in turn lead to a more robust ability to concentrate.

On Wednesday we will be publishing a Q&A with our mental wellbeing ambassador Jennie.