by: Eric M. Kussin

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18 January 2019

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University of Southern California

Last night was USC & it was such an incredible experience. I take a little from each event, share it, & then bank the learnings for future talks.

 

Dr. Robin Scholefield (bronze medalist for Canada in swimming as a 14yr old in the ‘76 Olympics) is USC’s head of their sports psychology department. She has 5 on her staff devoted to the MH of athletes alone – 5!! Many schools don’t fund 1. This is by far one of the top programs led by one of the top leaders in the country: a model we need more to copy.

 

We had 3 celeb speakers share their stories at 2 different sessions w the entire base of USC athletes. A top highlight from each:

 

Tracy Murray talked about how he experienced MH lows at diff times in his life for diff reasons bc that’s what life does to us.  Some were dips based on how injuries made him feel, some were dips based on not feeling wanted by teams, some were dips when his “purpose” had come to an end & he needed to find another reason to keep going. While he needed that help from fam, he got it each time & the ebbs & flows of life didn’t keep him down permanently.

 

Chamique Holdsclaw talked abt how she wish she know “then” what she knows now, about how healthy it is to share what we are feeling & going thru. When she was the #1 overall pick in the WNBA, she didn’t feel comfortable opening & sharing – w most anyone. And it stopped her from thriving in the market she was drafted -DC, one of the most powerful markets in the world, where if she’d opened up, she could’ve thrived w the support that would’ve been around her. Instead she fled. She would love to have had that opportunity back.

 

Former USC & NFL TE, Randall Telfer talked about how a MH dip after injuries derailed his ability to perform on the field. You know I love analogies, & he made an incredible one: he said when his grandmother suffered strokes, towards the end of her life, the docs told his fam that she wouldn’t recognize the need for eating. Randall said to him – his brain felt similar w MH dips – like it was shut down/didn’t recognize desire for things. So powerful.

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