What the researchers did
Using focus groups within 20 Australian coaches from an array of sports (swimming, cricket, basketball, Australian rules, and tennis), the researchers highlighted a number of key points relating to the mental health within the context of adolescents and sport:
Many of the coaches suggested that when working in youth sport they often feel required to serve a number of different roles including being a mentor, an educator, a motivator, as well as someone whom their young athletes can confide in.
Most coaches also saw their role within the mental health of their young athletes as someone who was better placed to identify possible psychological issues and refer them to those with more experience and knowledge in this area, as opposed to intervening and providing assistance.
A number of coaches found it challenging to discuss mental health with their young athletes or that this did not happen directly as they were unsure how their athletes might react. On the other hand, some coaches encouraged their athletes to discuss mental health issues with them and made this part of the club culture.