Experiencing An Urgent Mental Health Issue?
If you or someone you know is experiencing an urgent mental health issue, we encourage you to text HOME to 741741, or call (800) 273-8255 to speak to a trained mental health responder. In the process of helping yourself, you may be inspiring courage in others to seek help as well.
As part of our mission, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee is committed to promoting sustained well-being for Team USA athletes. More than ever, it is critical that we empower those who are in need to seek assistance, while proactively delivering mental health resources and services.
At the USOPC, we believe that competitive excellence and well-being work hand in hand, and at their best, reinforce one another. That is why we created the athlete services division in February 2019, to advance the support and resources available to Team USA athletes – specifically in the areas of athlete safety, mental health, wellness, and career and education. The new structure moved oversight of sports medicine and mental health to the athlete services division, creating separation between the people who support athlete wellness and those dedicated to athlete performance.
For elite athletes, a healthy mindset includes balance, self-exploration, supportive relationships and a post-competition transition plan. With guidance from our dedicated team of medical and sport psychology providers, our external Mental Health Taskforce and Mental Health Officers, and collaboration with other industry leaders and sport organizations, the USOPC strives to be a trusted resource in this area.
Together, the Team USA community is raising awareness around mental health, educating athletes – and our broader U.S. Olympic and Paralympic community – on available resources and empowering those in need to seek assistance.
Click Here to Visit the Mental Health Resource page on the Team USA Web page.
Voices for Clean Sport: Lindsey Ingraham
Paralympic medalist and USADA Athlete Presenter Greta Neimanas sits down with Major League Baseball Senior Manager Lindsey Ingraham for an episode of Voices for Clean Sport.
Doping Control Officer Precautions
USADA is taking the necessary precautions to protect our athletes and Doping Control Officers during the testing process.
Athletes should know that USADA screens each test assignment location for COVID-19-related restrictions (e.g., shelter-in-place orders) before committing to a test, so if a DCO arrives and you would like to be tested elsewhere, please communicate that preference. During the process, all DCOs will maintain a 6-foot distance when possible and complete a questionnaire on each day they are assigned to test, as well as wear a mask, a face shield, and gloves (as available). You can wear your own mask, or USADA will provide you with one if needed. Know that keeping athletes and testing personnel healthy during this time is a top priority. Click below to learn about all the precautions we have implemented.
Can Athletes Treat Iron Deficiencies
Iron is an essential mineral that assists in the transport of oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body, allowing muscles to work. As such, iron is especially important for athletes with increased demands on their muscles during training and competition. Iron deficiency may adversely affect physical performance and/or overall health. While the body’s iron requirements are typically met through the food we consume, athletes diagnosed with iron deficiency may be prescribed iron pills or liquid, or in more severe cases, prescription iron injections if they do not respond well to oral iron. Iron supplements are also used to address iron deficiency, but like all supplements, there is some level of risk for consumers. Click here to learn about the anti-doping rules regarding various iron treatments.
Abby Raymond: Supplement Safety is Never Guaranteed
Abby Raymond was just 14 years old when she was offered a protein powder and a pre-workout supplement from a family friend, who explained that his company’s products were plant-based, vegan, and made from all-natural ingredients.
While excited about her first sponsorship offer, Abby’s father pointed out that Abby was subject to anti-doping rules as a standout athlete competing in sanctioned weightlifting events…a concern that was met with assurances by the company owner that his supplements were safe. After just weeks of using the supplements, Abby had an anti-doping test…and soon learned that there are no guarantees when it comes to the safety of supplements. Click Here to watch Abby's full story.
To significantly reduce your risk, consider the use of third-party certified products. This certification audits the manufacturer's processes and provides an evaluation of the product's quality and labeling to ensure it is accurate and compliant with regulations. For example, USADA recognizes NSF Certified for Sport as the program best suited for athletes to reduce their risk. To learn more about NSF Certified for Sport, Click Here.
Physical demands vary among athletes, but hydration remains consistently important for anyone looking to maintain healthy performance and recovery. Hydrating effectively isn’t always as simple as “drink plenty of water.” It's also about what to drink, when, and how much. Understanding and sharing best practices can change perspectives and misconceptions about what proper hydration looks like, whether for a weekend match up or daily workout. Check out our TrueSport hydration resources by clicking here.
Interested in the conversation about the health and future of youth sports?
TrueSport is proud to participate in a virtual training hosted by the U.S. Youth Soccer Foundation called Re-imagining Youth Sports, scheduled for August 7, 2020. Open to coaches, parents, administrators, and athletes from all sport disciplines—anyone with a vested interest in youth sport—the symposium invites you to a thoughtful conversation about the way forward during the COVID pandemic. For information about how to join the conversation, click here.