Coaching Coaches: Mental Health Edition

I grew up as an elite athlete. I started playing basketball in grade one, and I excelled right from the get go. In grade five, I joined a track club where I quickly became successful. No matter the sport I played, I would thrive. In 2012, I qualified for the North American Championship in Hershey, PA, where I placed seventh in the 800m. I played on multiple provincial basketball teams, and started on my high school’s Senior basketball team as a freshman. 

In grade ten, I suffered through the peak of my severe anxiety and depression. I had suffered with mental illness since approximately seventh grade, however it worsened more than I ever could have imagined. On May 15th 2017, things took a turn for the worse. A teammate of mine from my U15  Sask season committed suicide. Tori’s death completely changed my life, and I miss her every single day. After Tori’s passing, I fell into an even deeper depression. On July 26th, while on a U16 basketball trip in Langley, I almost took my own life. Thankfully, I reached out for help at the last second. 

The Youth Caring Award 2019

Since then, my life has changed completely and I am grateful to wake up everyday. I have taken control of my own mental health, and taken initiative in my community. I organized Mikans for Mental Health, which raised over $5000 for Family Service Regina in 2018. I have spoken at multiple I Got Mind events, and the Sask Advocate “Now in My Day” conference. In September of 2019, I was honoured to receive the Youth Caring Award from The Caring Place. In March 2020, I raised $3000 through my little photography business and the Porch Project. The funds I received from the Youth Caring Award and the Porch Project have been donated to Inside the Box: A Mental Health Initiative. 

WOOF. Now, to the important stuff! Inside the Box: A Mental Health Initiative is a non-profit organization that I started in July! Inside the Box aims to promote mental health and well-being in athletics through awareness, conversation, education, and reflection. We have an amazing executive team and board of directors. I decided to start this organization because of my own negative experiences with mental health and sport, and I know of many others who had similar experiences. I also realized that suicide is greatly affecting young  athletes in my community. I recognized this, and decided to try and make a change in the athletic community. 

One of the logos for Inside the Box

We decided that we wanted to create a course for coaches due to our own experiences as an executive team. Coaches are typically major role models, and whether they know it or not, have an unbelievable impact on their athletes’ mental health. This can be a positive or negative impact. We want this course to help coaches be a positive force in their athletes’ lives, while minimizing the negative impacts they might have. 

In order to move forward on this project, I knew that I would have to create an outline. But, I asked myself “How the heck do I make an outline for this?”. So… guess what my first step was? Researching outlines for the creation of an online course. Yep, that’s right. I researched an outline to help me make an outline. That just seems so silly to me, but I now in fact have an outline for this project! So here it is:

  • Research outlines for creating online courses. Here are some of the sources I used: Learn Worlds, Thinkific, and Foundr
  • Create my learning project outline
  • Create a survey to send to athletes. This will help us determine what to put in the course!
  • Decide on a course topic
  • Research the subject and speak to professionals 
  • Plan the course outline 
  • Write learning goals and objectives
  • Choose eLearning platform
  • Create course content
  • Upload to platform
  • Test launch and gather feedback
  • Launch and market

I created this survey for any athletes to fill out. We will not be using it for research purposes so I was not worried about technicalities. This survey will just help us determine what athletes are struggling with so we can add to our course!

This project is a HUGE task! I have to ensure that all information I include is accurate and relevant, and will not end up harming the mental health of athletes to come. I will be communicating with professionals quite regularly, so I am not worried at all. There is a possibility that this project will not be entirely completed by the end of this course, but that is okay!

I am so excited for the opportunity to work on a passion of mine in a University class. I hope you enjoy this journey!

x Paige Hamann

Hey there!

Welcome to my blog. I am super excited that you are here!

My name is Paige Hamann and I am currently a second year Secondary Education student majoring in Social Studies and minoring in English. Bring on all the social justice! 

Here are some fun facts about me:

Buehrle J.A
  • I am the Founder and President of a mental health non-Profit organization. 
  • My favourite colour is pink, but I have really been digging earthy colours recently
  • My family names our dogs after Blue Jays players. We currently have a one year old dog named Buehrle J.A (after Mark Buehrle and J.A Happ)
  • I have always wanted to start a blog but was too anxious (this is a fabulous excuse to overcome a fear)

Yes, I was scared to start a blog… I know it sounds silly, but as someone with severe social anxiety I was terrified of what people would think! Would people even read it? What if I ran out of things to write about? What if people think I’m weird? “What ifs” can be deadly. 

However, Edtc 300 is making me say sayonara to my fear of creating a blog. So instead of simply drowning in my anxiety and resenting this course, I have decided to embrace my “what ifs”. What if people actually like the things I write? What if this method of writing and communication is an amzing outlet for me? What if this blog helps me to make connections with other educators? Most importantly, what if this blog helps me to overcome my other fears? It’s all about perspective.

I think educational technology is one of the coolest tools ever! In a few months, I can definitely see myself being a edtc nerd… but I am more than okay with that! People today are more immersed in technology than ever before, and it only makes sense for educators to take advantage of that. 

Although elements of technology have been present through the entirety of my education, I only started to appreciate the extent of it in eighth grade. My grade eight teacher really appreciated technology and so our classroom dove right in. We actively used twitter in our classroom, and we even planned an entire field trip to downtown Regina via Twitter. Our class really learned how to communicate with our community in safe and meaningful ways.

I feel that although technology was definitely used in my schools, it was not used to its full potential, and that is totally okay! I do not feel that I missed out on anything because technology was not omnipresent in my classroom. That being said, if I can learn how to utilise technology to grow as an educator and engage my students, then I am absolutely on board!

Thanks for reading & joining me on this journey!

X Paige Hamann