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Now also available as a podcast: No stress with stress – Maintaining and promoting mental health in competitive sports.

Competitive athletes can also be affected by depression, anxiety and burnout. High training loads in combination with non-athletic stress and specific personality traits can affect mental health. But only those who are also psychologically healthy can call up their full performance capacity even under competition conditions, deal appropriately with defeats or setbacks, and successfully cope with excessive stress situations.

In our podcast, sponsored by the BMAS and the psyGA initiative, the speakers and athletes of the successful expert forums have their say. Our six-part series is aimed at athletes, coaches, athletic directors, and association reprentatives who want to learn more and advocate for mental health.

Listen to what the well-known radio sports reporter Holger Dahl, the book author and sports journalist Ronald Reng, the ex-professional soccer player Martin Amedick, the reigning world champion in archery Elena Richter, the former Olympic high jump champion Heike Henkel and the head of the junior training center of 1. FC Union Berlin Janek Kampa and many others have to say about the important topic.

Link to the podcast


NEWS: 3rd expert forum “No stress with stress – respectful leadership” now also available as video

The presentations of the 3rd expert forum “No stress with stress – respectful leadership” are now publicly available online for all interested to view. Thanks to the support of nextpractice, all presentations have been transformed into a copyright-compliant format so that the content can also be viewed at other events and, of course, for personal use.

This link will take you to the website of our event.

REVIEW: Outstanding response to the expert forum “No stress with stress – respectful leadership” on 21 JANUARY 2021

Thanks to funding from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and Novitas BKK, the 3rd specialist forum in the series “No stress with stress” under this year’s theme “respectful leadership” was realised as an ONLINE FORMAT with the support of the agency nextpractice and the response was overwhelming. More than 500 participants from various professions were able to follow the expert forum and enter their questions in a chat during the lectures, which were then ranked by the other participants through likes. After their presentations, the speakers were able to answer the most important questions under the once again very professional and sympathetic moderation of Holger Dahl. After the welcoming words by Mathias Merfert (BMAS) and Sabine Pfeifer (Novitas BKK), Marion Sulprizio (MentalEmpowerment) outlined the current findings from science on the topic of “appreciative trainer behaviour”. In his exciting contribution, Lothar Linz posed the critical question “Who does the behaviour serve?”.  Martin Amedick reported from his football past about different types of coaches who have influenced him and how he evaluates this communication from today’s perspective. National coach Valentin Altenburg from the German Hockey Association used his own career to impressively show how coaches can reflect on themselves and also change.

The great popularity, which is documented by the number of participants and the numerous, appreciative feedback, makes it clear that a field of enormous importance was dealt with here. In the future, MentalEmpowerment will continue to offer various training and further education formats for trainers and sports psychologists in the area of prevention, which is an important concern of MentalEmpowerment in addition to providing athletes with an optimal form of support.


Announcement: “No stress with stress – respectful leadership”

Following the two successful events in Duisburg and Berlin, the 3rd expert forum in the series “No stress with stress” will take place in Bonn on November 12th, 2020 under this year´s theme “Respectful leadership”. It can be realised thanks to the support from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the Novitas BKK. The MentalEmpowerment initiative, together with Novitas BKK, has once again invited experts from the fields of science and sports psychology and put together an interesting programme that provides a variety of practical recommendations for respectul leadership from the perspectives of trainers, sport scientists and sports psychologists for the communication and mental strength of competitive athletes. Lothar Linz, André Henning and Martin Amedick could be won as speakers, who will make the expert forum exciting for coaches, managers, but also for other interested in the topic. The program and registration link as well as the rules for compliance with the corona protective measures during this event will be published soon.

Helpful recommendations for athletes

The corona crisis is a time of uncertainty for athletes and can be a great burden. However, there are already many helpful recommendations for action from sports psychologists and official statements from Olympic training centers (OSP) on how to cope with the current situation.

The MentalEmpowerment team is also in demand in many places during this time. Here you can find an interview with Prof. Dr. Thorsten Weidig on how to deal with the situation. Monika Liesenfeld from the OSP Berlin talks about the fears and worries of the athletes in this interview. Marion Sulprizio describes the situation of the athletes in this interview.

A joint statement of the NRW OSP sports psychologists also helps to deal with the current situation. You can find the tips here.


INFORMATION MentalEmpowerment on the Corona Crisis

The coordination office of MentalEmpowerment can still be reached by email mentalgestaerkt@dshs-koeln.de and phone 0221/49825540. If there is a need for sports-psychological coaching or, if necessary, psychotherapeutic support, in the current situation only experts who have the possibilities of online support are referred. Stay healthy!

Award for Mental Health in Junior Competitive Sports 2020 of the Robert-Enke-Foundation

In 2020, the Robert-Enke-Foundation will continue to organise the “Förderpreis Seelische Gesundheit im Nachwuchsleistungssport” (Promotional Award of Mental Health in Junior Competitive Sports). You can find the terms and conditions of the tender here.

Information on the prize winners from 2019, in order to get a further impression for an application, can be found under this link.


MentalEmpowerment-Flyer – now also in English

In order to bring the topic of mental health closer to non-German-speaking athletes and trainers and coaches, the flyer of our initiative is also available in English. Since March 2017, it can be ordered for free at mentalgestaerkt@dshs-koeln.de. Hereby, MentalEmpowerment reacts on the increasing amount of international athletes in sports such as football, basketball or ice hockey. At this year’s Congress of the International Society of Sports Psychology in Seville, the concept of our networking initiative “MentalEmpowerment” will be presented in a presentation.

New website for NachwuXathleten

MentalEmpowerment cooperates with the website www.nachwuxathleten.de, which was developed by the team of the Technical University of Munich and where young athletes can inform themselves about the topic “Mental Health”. The site also features a self-check for well-being and stress management as well as valuable tips and small tools that can be helpful as stress and strain increase. MentalEmpowerment is on hand and offers sports psychological, psychotherapeutic and psychiatric contact addresses in a nationwide network, if an athlete needs specific help.

A must-have for every trainer! – Practice folder “No stress with the stress”

How do I deal with injured athletes? How does performance pressure affect my athletes? How can I help my athletes with career planning? What should I do if I suspect a mental illness?

These and other questions are answered in the practice folder “No Stress with Stress – Tips and Solutions for Mental Strength and Mental Health in Competitive Sport”. For trainer and other advisors, it represents an aid to action that provides valuable impulses for high-performance sports.

The folder is already in its second edition and can be obtained again for free at www.psyga.info. You can also place an order via mentalgestaerkt@dshs-koeln.de.

The official press release of the folder can be found here.

Best Practice

With the help of Webmood, the physical, mental and social well-being of athletes can be systematically recorded and monitored. The tool is designed for both individual athletes and teams. Webmood can be optimally used as a companion tool in cooperation with a sports psychology expert (psychologists, therapists and possibly coaches) to optimize the training and competition control. That way, it can be recognized such as for instance whether sports psychological training has a positive effect on self-confidence.

The detailed description and contact details can be found here.