Tackling athlete mental health in 10 chapters

Interviews with some of Australia’s and the World’s most successful athletes and coaches.  Inspiring stories of challenge and ultimately of triumph over experiences that can trigger mental ill health.  The metacognitive awakenings that came with those experiences and the strategies used to build resilience for psychological and emotional well-being.

Chapter 1
Anxiety: It is Okay to feel Anxious

A look at various anxiety disorders which may affect athletic performances when unhelpful thinking gets in the way. 

Learn how to re-frame eleven unhelpful thinking habits to maximise your true potential.

Chapter 2
Depressed: Or Burnt-out

An examination of the pressures placed on athletes that may contribute to depression.

Learn how to identify different athlete personality temperaments which can either protect against or contribute to depression.  Strategies for helping athlete’s self-regulate unhelpful thoughts, feelings and behaviours are provided. 

Chapter 3
Alcohol: An Australian Condition

Need-to-know information about alcohol consumption and its links with mental illness, strategies for establishing codes of behaviour to minimise harm. 

Learn how to establish team agreements and motivators for sensible alcohol management in sporting teams. 

Chapter 4
ADHD: Differently Gifted

ADHD is not a mental illness, intelligence or behavioural problem, but a different way of processing the world.

Learn about ADHD, what it is and isn’t.  Find out why many athletes with ADHD display exceptional athletic abilities and when combined with good coaching/mentoring, how it can be managed and contribute to athletic brilliance. 

Chapter 5
Bipolar: The Savage Down after the High

Bipolar can contribute to exceptional performances making some individuals reluctant to treat it.  An examination of what bipolar is and isn't and the importance of getting the diagnosis right. 

Learn about the different types and stages of bipolar and why failure to correctly diagnose it may lead to dangerous consequences, including suicide. Strategies for effective management are shared.     

Chapter 6
Body Image: The Pressure to Be Thin

How to resist the pressure to be thin? Looks at muscle dysmorphia, need-to-make-weight, power-to-weight-ratio, aesthetic & media sports. 

Learn about the different body image pressures placed on athletes and how to work with the body you are born with.

Chapter 7
Anger: What lies beneath?

Self-awareness, social expectations, coaching mentors, rules and consequences may help individuals regulate anger and minimise aggression.

Learn about the emotions that lie beneath anger and how to self-regulate.  Supportive sporting communities can help minimise the harm that can be caused by displaced anger.

Chapter 8
Grief and Loss

When individuals are hurting, coaches often provide social and emotional support, but many feel overwhelmed or inadequately trained to do so.

Learn about the stages of grief and how sporting communities can provide supportive environments against mental ill-health in times of grief and loss.

Chapter 9
Chasing Stimulus 24/7: Technology

Examines the effect social media, computer gaming and web-surfing can have on the developing brain. Learn about addictive behaviours and why some individuals find it difficult to switch-off their technology.  Unregulated or excessive technology use can lead to attention fatigue, disruptive sleep/wake cycles and mental ill-health. 

Learn how to manage social media and screen time for a healthy mind.

Chapter 10
The Pain of Letting Go: Life after Sport

Many ‘talented’ junior athletes fail to successfully transition into senior competition, learn why.  There are five transitional stages across the athlete’s lifespan all provide opportunities for building emotional resilience.  The last of these transitions is retirement from elite competitive sport. 

To help retiring athletes make successful transitions to life-after-sport, read about the seven states of readiness that are key factors in preparation for a successful transition. 



Containing over…

300 A4 pages
150,000 words
200 photographs, images and tables
30 elite athlete, coach and medical interviews
400 referenced journal articles and sources
130 'At risk' scenarios, with over
600 strategies and tips for minimising harm and building mental resilience
60 websites with contact details for mental health support services in Australia




Helping others transition from the ordinary to the extraordinary. Olympic psychologist, former elite athlete, coach and educator, Gayelene Clews, is passionate about helping people excel. Gayelene Clews has achieved a lifetime of success in the highly competitive international arena of elite sport and in the field of education.  Of her achievements she says,

“I love to work with the individuals in the ‘grey’ - those who are made to feel unremarkable - because I know that the extraordinary lies in all of us, but to be everything we can be, we first have to truly know ourselves.”

Read more about Gayelene Clews and Wired to Play Consulting >