How to Help A Teammate

Teammates often turn to one another for support in times of trouble. If a teammate has come to you, consider it a sign of trust and strength. Many people struggle in finding the most appropriate way to respond. Below are some tips:

Helpful Points to Consider When Helping a Teammate

  1. Stop what you are doing, look at the person, and simply listen.
  2. Listen and accept what you are given. Ask questions for clarification without judging. One of the biggest mistakes someone can make is to respond as if the problem is a sign of weakness or unimportant or trivial.
  3. Indicate you are glad he/she came to you and you want to help. Don't assume, but clarify what help the person may want.
  4. Make the necessary referral and encourage/support its acceptance. Consulting with a CAPS or Department of Athletics counselor or other mental health professional is an excellent way to feel confident in your support.
  5. Know your limits. Be aware of what is reasonable to expect from yourself. Know your resources. You cannot always change the person/situation because you have limited control. Take care of yourself.
  6. Plant the seed. It can be difficult to reach out/accept help. Helping your teammate may simply be accepting her/his decision to not seek support at this time, and offering your hand when the time comes.   Adapted from NCAA: "Managing Student-Athletes' Mental Health Issues"