What was involved?

 

During the sports seasons for 2016 and 2017 participating clubs signed up for the Ahead of the Game program. We targeted adolescent males aged 12-17 years, their coaches, and parents to participate in a study of the effect of the program.

Clubs that signed up to the Ahead of the Game study, were given access to the following programs:


 

Ahead of the Game Awareness Campaign - for adolescents

An awareness campaign was rolled out through participating clubs. We provided informational posters and banners, which were displayed around the club and goody bags for all adolescent participants. The campaign focused on improving mental health knowledge, decreasing stigma and promoting help-seeking.


Help Out a Mate - for adolescents

Help Out a Mate is a one hour workshop session delivered by specialist presenters. It introduces participants to common mental health problems, teaches them how to look out for signs that a mate might be struggling and what they can do to help. 


Your Path to Success in Sport - for adolescents

A 1 hour workshop session supported by six 10-minute online modules. This is a sport psychology program that helps adolescents identify and develop skills for managing the challenges that sports can present. Participants consider key skills for being resilient and successfully navigating their own path through sport, including the importance of effort, learning, embracing challenges, and managing setbacks.


Athlete Motivation - A How-To Guide - for coaches

This program provides suggestions of small changes that can be made to your coaching practice to improve the motivation of your athletes. The benefits of this program include increased enjoyment for coaches and players, reduction in burnout/dropout from sport and improved wellbeing. This program initially involves a 2 hour workshop which is backed up by online content which can be completed throughout the season. Group mentoring sessions are also provided, which give coaches the opportunity to discuss your experiences and learn from each other.


Number 1 Supporter - for parents

A 1 hour workshop session designed to increase parents’ knowledge about adolescent mental health and wellbeing. It will help parents to differentiate between ‘normal’ adolescent behaviour and possible signs that an adolescent might be struggling. It also provides information on how to promote positive mental health, how to start a conversation about mental health with your teenager, what to do if you are concerned and where to seek help.