The trend we’re seeing among athletes and other teenagers is a general increase in anxiety and depression. Especially those high-achieving teens, like our teen athletes, struggle with these feelings. They either feel like they shouldn’t experience them at all or already have so many other things added to their daily life, that they decide to put their anxiety and depression to the back burner.

“Health is one of those things you can’t put on the back burner. You got to bring it to the forefront and address it head on”
– Michael Atunrase

Coach Mike is back on the podcast today to talk about health beyond nutrition and exercise. He shares and explains the top four strategies to help athletes make the time and space to get their mental game together so they can be more well-rounded and perform better:
1. Logging your efforts;
2. Finding something you love doing that has nothing to do with your sport;
3. Self-scouting;
4. Keeping up with health hygiene.

“You have to make the time. And it’s going to help you in the long run. It’s like an investment.”
– Michael Atunrase

I love how Michael and I are able to have the same conversation coming from different ways. We’re living in a society that’s focused on achievement and in order to stay healthy, and for our kids to stay healthy, we need to be taking care of the physical aspects, which I work into my work, AND the emotional aspects, which Michael works into his work.

In this episode on mental fitness for athletes (and non-athletes), we cover:

> The top four strategies to help athletes keep their mental fitness game in;
> Expectations from society and how we can help our kids navigate them;
> The identity crisis many teen athletes go through;
> Diversifying your identities in order to feel healthier;
> Self-scouting;
> Honoring your body in ways that aren’t just about performance;
> And much more!

If your athlete or non-athlete teen is struggling with their mental health, this episode is for you. You can find our podcast Active and Connected Families wherever you listen to your podcasts, or easily click the links below to listen:

Click here to listen on Spotify!

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts!

Click here to listen on Google Podcasts!

More about Michael Atunrase

After completing his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, Michael pursued a professional football career. Knowing he wanted to continue pursuing a professional career in human performance training after football ended, he acquired his CSCS (Certified Strength Coach Specialist), NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine), and NASE (National Academy of Speed & Explosion) certifications.

Over the past decade, Michael Atunrase has trained several top athletes and helped them to reach their full athletic potential. His training model goes further than just workouts. He also focuses on educating his clients on what their minds and bodies endure through their training processes.

In 2020, he officially launched Resilience Fitness & Sports Performance, a virtual fitness and performance training service where you can go for both virtual and in-person performance training, group training, 1:1 training, yoga, HITT training, and much more.

You can learn more about Michael here.

    More about Active & Connected Family Therapy

    Active & Connected Family Therapy is a mental health practice serving individuals, families, and our community. Our practice is designed to help people at all stages and from all walks of life by offering therapists and physicians with diverse backgrounds and specialties via face-to-face, walk-and-talk, and telemedicine appointments. Throughout, we are committed to developing strengths-based, authentic, and long-lasting relationships with you and your children. We hope to provide you with the support and insight you need to help your family navigate life’s hard times and joys.

    Are you or your child struggling with mental health? We have a team of psychologists and psychiatrists who can help you out. You can learn more about our practice or contact us here.

    Resources and links mentioned in this episode


    Disclaimer: Please remember we are real live therapists, however this is a podcast and is not considered a therapy session. Not only because there is no co-pay but also because we can’t speak to your individual experiences. We are here to help you keep raising healthy kids. And remember, if you are an imperfect parent, we are right there with you. If you or someone you love is in immediate danger, please call your local crisis hotline or go to your nearest emergency room.