Pathways through acute athlete care during training and major tournaments: a multi-national conceptualised process

Robert J. Schinke, Kristoffer Henriksen, Brennan Petersen, Paul Wylleman, Gangyan Si, Liwei Zhang, Sean McCann, Athanasios Papaioannou

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There have been growing discussions across international societies since 2017 focused on athlete wellness and athlete care. The human condition of high-performance athletes requires life balance, holistic personhood, and a functional athletic career with the support of integrative resources from sport organisations. During two successive International Society of Sport Psychology Think Tanks on Athlete Mental Health in 2018 and 2019, an international group of practitioners from Olympic and professional sport organisations discussed topics spanning what athlete mental health should look like, while problematising an overly narrow focus on athlete mental ill-health (i.e., an unbalanced approach to the topic), how it is being diagnosed, and how it is understood through research. Discussions have advanced into structural suggestions regarding standards of care for athletes in their daily training environments and at major international tournament events. Within this consensus statement, the authors focus our discussions onto athlete acute care. Emphasis is placed on how an integrated support team can work efficiently with high-performance athletes when acute care is required in two general contexts: (1) within the training environment, and (2) onsite at major events. A model is proposed to spur discussions and better standards to guide the athlete acute care process. Recommendations are provided for sport psychology practitioners, researchers, and high-performance sport organizations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)295-309
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Acute care
  • athlete mental health
  • high performance sport
  • mental health literacy


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