This pioneering book in elite athlete wellbeing brings together the narratives of athletes and wellbeing practitioners in high-performance sport with cutting-edge theorizing from world-leading academics to explore pertinent mental wellbeing matters that present for elite athletes both during and after their careers.

The journey of the elite athlete is considered from entering the high-performance system as a youth performer through to retirement, with contributions illuminating the ways in which mental wellbeing can be impacted – both negatively and positively – through common place experiences.  Methods of creating holistic high-performance sports cultures along with common mental wellbeing influencers, such as parents, education, faith, injury and (de)selection are explored, as well as the ramifications of uncommon events on mental wellbeing, such as whistleblowing, legal disputes, psychological disorders and COVID-19. Drawing on this analysis, the book then proffers thought-provoking strategies for how the mental wellbeing of both athletes and staff can be understood, developed and supported, ultimately driving elite sport cultural transformation to put the person first and the athlete second. 

Each chapter presents the wellbeing experience from the vantage of the athlete or the wellbeing practitioner, followed by an academic unpacking of the situation. This makes the book a must read for students and researchers working in sport coaching, sport psychology, applied sport science or sport management, as well as practitioners interested in facilitating a duty of care for high performing athletes, and working in coaching, sport science support, athlete development programs, NGB policy and administration or welfare services.

chapter 6|16 pages

Supporting Athletes from Different Cultures and Nationalities

The case of women's football

chapter 9|15 pages

The Ableism of Athlete Wellbeing Support

Additional needs of the paralympic athlete

chapter 10|13 pages

The Implementation of an Integrated Psychological Support Programme for Injured Athletes

‘Stopping athletes from falling off the edge of the cliff’

chapter 11|16 pages

Developing Caring Cultures in Football

A model for practice and change

chapter 13|16 pages

Wellbeing and Whistleblowing

What happens?

chapter 15|14 pages

Athlete Welfare, Stakeholder Responsibility, and Ethics of Care in Elite Sport

An examination of para-sport organisation approaches in France

chapter 16|14 pages

Fighting a System Built to Exclude Queer(ing) Bodies

An imperative for athlete wellbeing

chapter 18|14 pages

Supporting Athlete Wellbeing During a Global Pandemic

The case of COVID-19

chapter |5 pages