Job search
Job Search

People: Daniel Eisenberg on the link between mental health and sporting performance

Associate professor, University of Michigan School of Public Health

Published in Sports Management Nov Dec 2016 issue 128
Read on turning pages | Download PDF of this issue
Daniel Eisenberg
Daniel Eisenberg

A person’s performance in sport is related to many factors. One important factor that can often be overlooked is mental health.

Research from the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health (SPH) shows that one in three college students experiences significant symptoms of depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions, yet only about 30 per cent seek help. Of student athletes, just 10 per cent seek help.

Athletes Connected, the university’s multi-departmental athlete-focused mental health programme, aims to remedy this by helping athletes to understand the link between mental health and performance, and encouraging them to seek help.

Objective stats
Leading the research unit of this programme is Daniel Eisenberg, an associate professor at the SPH. Eisenberg’s latest research aims to investigate how mental health symptoms, particularly depression and anxiety, relate to athletic performance.

“Athletes offer the opportunity to measure performance in a more objective way than the general population. For example, swimmers and runners have race times. Every sport has an objective statistic by which to measure performance,” he said.

Eisenberg and his team worked with 43 student athletes from a range of sports. The students were surveyed weekly over 12 weeks and also did twice-daily surveys for a two week period within this time.

While the results are yet to come in, Eisenberg is enthusiastic about their potential to help athletes, coaches and sports teams to recognise the role that mental health plays in sport and in our lives.

“One of our main goals is to help coaches and managers of sports teams. They are the leaders of athletic teams, and we hope this will help convince them that mental health is aligned with their goals of high performance and success. It is fundamental to our ability to function at our best.”

Staying positive
Eisenberg warned the results must be used carefully, so as not to contribute to negative stereotypes.

“We’ll emphasise a positive framing,” he assures. “We’ll emphasise that mental health is a continuum that’s relevant for everyone, rather than a binary concept of people with and without mental health problems. Nearly everyone has potential to improve where they are on that continuum, and potentially enhance their functioning and performance.”

This message is of huge importance to athletes, and Eisenberg hopes his research will contribute to an increased awareness of mental health in sports.

“I’d like to see mental health be a part of the everyday culture in sports, just like physical health is. It should be openly discussed and appreciated.”

Sign up for FREE ezines & magazines
Sports jobs
Everyone Active
featured job

Swimming Teachers

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive hourly rate
Job location: Nationwide

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £18,305 per annum(39 hours a weeks pro rata)
Location: Abingdon, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £8.21 per hour
Location: Rugby, UK

Leisure Centre Manager

Derby City Council
Salary: Grade J £32,878 - £36,876 a year pro rata
Location: Derby, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £10.55 per hour
Location: New Barnet, Barnet, UK

Membership Consultants

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: East Staffordshire District, UK

Duty Manager

Legacy Leisure
Salary: £20,000 per annum
Location: Exeter, UK

Trampoline Park Manager

Jump Giants
Salary: Competitive
Location: Burton on the Wolds, Loughborough, UK

Front of House Receptionist

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive rate of pay
Location: Dulwich, London, UK

Sales Manager

Lex Leisure
Salary: Circa £23,000 per annum
Location: Barnstaple, UK
recruiting with sports management

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £22,008 per annum
Location: Purley, UK

Front of House Receptionist

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Dulwich, London, UK

Contact Centre Advisor

Circadian Leisure Trust
Salary: £6.77 - £8.21 per hour
Location: Yate, Bristol, UK

SOHO Supervisor

Circadian Leisure Trust
Salary: Competitive
Location: Bradley Stoke, Bristol, UK

Duty Manager

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive salary
Location: London, UK

Sport and Leisure Services Manager

Ipswich Borough Council
Salary: £42,683 - £44,632
Location: Ipswich, UK

Fitness Instructor

Legacy Leisure
Salary: Competitive
Location: Brackley, UK
recruiting with sports management

Fitness and Retention Manager

Legacy Leisure
Salary: £35,000 per annum
Location: Windsor, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £22,008 per annum
Location: Leyton, London, UK

Toning Assistant

Circadian Leisure Trust
Salary: £8.21 - £8.70 per hour
Location: Bradley Stoke, Bristol, UK

Facility Manager

Brio Leisure
Salary: £39,638 per annum
Location: Ellesmere Port, UK

General Manager

The Gym Group
Salary: Competitive Salary and Benefits
Location: Horsham, UK

Outdoor Leader

Ufton Court Educational Trust
Salary: £18,000 to £21,500 depending on skills and experience
Location: Reading, UK

Duty Manager

Lex Leisure
Salary: Competitive
Location: Glossop, UK
training with sports management

Recreation Assistant

Legacy Leisure
Salary: Competitive
Location: Exeter, UK

Marketing Assistant

The Gym Group
Salary: Competitive hourly rate
Location: Basingstoke, UK

Duty Manager

GLL
Salary: Up to £20,844
Location: Carlisle, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £9.00 per hour
Location: Wantage, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £22,008 per annum
Location: Stratford, London, UK

Assistant Manager

GLL
Salary: Up To £34,966 PA + 8% Bonus after qualifying
Location: London, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £22,008 per annum
Location: Hackney, London, UK
lifeguard jobs  personal trainer jobs  swimming teacher jobs  recreation assistant jobs  Gymnastics Coach jobs  apprenticeships jobs  duty manager jobs  Swimming instructor jobs  general manager jobs  Regional Sales Manager jobs  assistant manager jobs  Swim Teacher jobs  assistant general manager jobs  fitness instructor jobs  Customer Services Advisor jobs 
More jobs

Catalogue Gallery

JP Lennard: Leading supplier to Commercial Swimming Pools, Leisure Centres, Health & Fitness Clubs, Hotels, Holiday Parks, Schools and Universities, supplying thousands of products directly into these sectors.
JPL
More catalogues

Video Gallery

TVS Sports Surfaces
Established in 2009 as a specialist supplier of noise and vibration solutions, The TVS Group has successfully evolved into four key strategic divisions; TVS Sports Surfaces, TVS Gym Flooring, TVS Play Surfaces and TVS Acoustics.
Visit website
More videos

Company profile

Company profile: Wattbike
Wattbike is the creator of the world’s most advanced and innovative indoor bikes, developed in association with world class athletes and scientists.
View full profile >
More company profiles

Featured Supplier

Solent University’s brand new Sports Centre receives high performance flooring and functional rig solutions from EXF
Leading bespoke fitness equipment manufacturer, EXF Fitness has recently completed an installation project at Solent University in Southampton.
View full details >
More featured suppliers

Diary dates

23-25 Jul 2019
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Australia
05-06 Sep 2019
TagusPark, Oeiras, Portugal
21-22 Sep 2019
Locations worldwide,
23-26 Sep 2019
JW Marriott Turnberry Resort & Spa, Miami, United States
More diary dates