Darkness of Depression (Part 2)

STRATEGIC INTENTIONAL THERAPY

If you don’t sit and train your head, you could be dead! Our brain has two functions to imagine and remember. If it’s not imaging a positive future tomorrow, and remembering the passionate ‘why’ to your journey then you are in trouble. 

S – I – T 

1) Strategic: pick a time during the day where you have total silence and no distractions (soft music, a beautiful landscape, etc) 

Example: When I am traveling, I love a good view. Why? For my quiet time early mornings and evenings.  It’s my alone time I’m in my room where I flush out the negative and let the positive FLOW. But I have to be strategic on time, place, and atmosphere. 

2) Intentional: 

– What do I do? What do I reflect on? How do I reflect?

– Do you have a notebook to write things down?

– Self awareness is always a good skill to have. It’s the ability to be totally present and honest with yourself. You step outside yourself, and look at the mirror of yourself. What’s working? What’s not working? How am I managing my mental thoughts? Emotional feelings? How does my body feel physically? Get rid of the bad stuff, rehab the painful stuff, and keep the good stuff. 

Self reflection weekly or daily is always good for you. But you have to be organized and intentional on what you want to accomplish during that quiet time. 

– For me when I’m home I like to do it early morning before the kids get up. Outside by my pool or pond. I see the stars, moon, sun coming up. Some days I can hear the ocean waves. To me this is a piece of heaven. 

  1. Emotional and cognitive therapy:  For me I use self reflection time to help my emotional and cognitive state. I enjoy going to church, getting in the Bible, being around good hearted people is great therapy for me.

On the road I like to do it at the end of the day. I get back to my hotel room. Ice bath, stretch, then reflection/prayer time. Sometimes it’s 30 minutes, sometimes it’s 2 hours, but it HAS to get done. Negative thoughts HAVE to leave your vessels and POSITIVE, PEACEFUL thoughts have to remain or come in. 

3) Therapy: there are many forms of therapies that doctors recommend now: 

– emotional, cognitive, social, physical, spiritual, mental 

  1. Emotional and cognitive therapy:  For me I use self reflection time to help my emotional and cognitive state. I enjoy going to church, getting in the Bible, being around good hearted people is great therapy for me.
  2. Social therapy: Talking to my wife,  MJ and a handful of mentors or my “circle” is my SOCIAL therapy. I vent to them, talk to them about my struggles, frustrations or anxieties I may be dealing with. They listen, support me, and help me do better with NO judgment. Any constructive criticism is only to help me, and I accept that. I truly believe many people commit suicide because they feel they have no one to talk to, no one is listening; and that’s sad. If a person feels like no one is listening, and they bottle up their negative thoughts, then the result is poison. It’s not good. Isolation and silence is the worst thing you can do.

    – MJ is the head Coach of Eastern Florida, a Division I Junior College in Melbourne, FLA. She has over a 70% winning percentage since she started coaching 15 years ago as a head coach. Below is some team building strategies that has worked for her and her team:

    – We make them face their on court FEAR and they can’t sub out in practice. We spend time everyday working on the players weakness and physical vulnerability. Any negative language of hate or criticism that is not positive we address.

    – We have different classroom sessions that explore self so they have a better pulse on what they are afraid of. We put them in uncomfortable situations and we continue to cultivate reps and exercises until we feel they have confidence or have an edge over their fear! This is something we do weekly. 

    – We share other people’s testimonies to show how fear can either make you or break you. 

    – My door, phone and house are always open. If my players need professional counseling, we get it for them. Everything is confidential.

  3. Physical Therapy: 

    – as I have read, there is medicine you can take or brain stimulation you can do. I don’t know much about that, but here is what I know:

    – When I exercise and sweat, I feel GREAT when it’s over. Especially working out outside, in the sun, breathing the fresh air. It’s nothing like it in the world. It’s vitamin C, E, at its best. Endorphins run through your body and research states you have more sense of joy and euphoria when endorphins are released. Exercise does that. You look better, you feel better, you are a healthier you.

    – For me, when I over eat, or drink some bad stuff I feel physically bad. Bloated , inflamed, tight. For me the cleaner I eat, the more balanced I eat, the more water I drink, the HAPPIER I am. So for me it’s pretty simple. Eat right, exercise and sweat daily. 

A simple formula I try to use to help my negative thinking and feeling is:

SPEND TIME AND FOCUS ON:

1) Who you love 

2) Who loves you

3) Doing what you love

Develop a set of core values and non negotiables for you and your family:

Below are the BAKER’S core values for basketball and life: 

1) LOVE not Racism

2) FAITH not Negative Fear

3) GRATEFULNESS not Spoiledness/Entitlement 

4) PASSION/ENERGY not Laziness 

5)FORGIVENESS/EMPATHY/GRACE not Hate 

 

Solution’s for Coaches

First and foremost, we have to be HEALTHY & PEACEFUL before we can coach others to do the same. Every week (daily if you can), you must take time out for yourself to build up your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual self! 

Here are some solutions  with dealing with depressed players:

1) Sit down and talk in a private safe setting

– listen don’t lecture 

– be graceful but persistent on how they feel and the reasons 

– acknowledgement of their feelings 

– trust your gut if they ignore that “they are fine”

2) Encourage them to get around good people. Who they love and who loves them. Isolation for them is poisonous

– a good way to help them become happy is to make someone else happy. Get them to volunteer.

3) Improve their diet, hydration, sleep and exercise

– to me this is the MOST important. This keeps my “heart light “ most of the time. 

4) Don’t be afraid to seek the professionals

-don’t hesitate to seek professional help from a mental health professional with advanced training and a strong background treating teens and young adults 

5) Don’t forget to keep your superpowers

– as a Coach/Leader/Parent, you will spend most of your day helping, sowing into others. But how will you keep your energy up? How will you keep your mind and heart guarded?

– you MUST get your workouts in, food intake healthy, SLEEP, and hydration superior 

– get your alone time, quiet time, and solitude in. Even superman and superwoman flew by themselves and got away to reflect and let go of STRESS. 

Feedback?

Do you have any thoughts on depression in our industry of basketball players, coaches, leaders? I would like to hear from you!

  • How bad is it?
  • How as leaders, do you and I address it? 
  • What can we do to educate inspire and help people not commit Suicide or ruin their life for the moment ? 

May God help and Bless us All 🙏🏼

Suicide Lifeline: If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time of day or night or chat online

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