Fitness Mental health

Mental Health in Sport

By Aaron

Community Manager, kindcody

25 May 2021

Working in the field of work can be a blessing, but a moment of challenge & low moments. Aaron shares his experiences working as a Social Media admin within Sport and the tough periods he’s faced with his mental health

Having the opportunity to work within a sport that I’ve adored since I was a child was like a dream come true. The chance to work closely within the sport and to say that I’ve had the opportunity to be part of it I’m truly grateful for.

I was appointed as a Social Media Manager for an agency, working with one of the ten teams. It was a huge honour and a privilege to work alongside a team closely, and to be in the thick of the sport that’ve grown up watching for many years. Previous roles got me a glimpse of what life was like, but nothing was compared to this.

But it wasn’t without its hurdles – both in the role, and for me personally. It was a big leap for me going from reporting session, and interviews, to a role dedicated on managing different platforms & tasks. It was big leap.

It was a challenge that presented new opportunities and new hurdles to face, which overtime I learn to adapt and quickly picked up the role as we concluded the year. I felt proud of myself with the level of content, ideas, and production I could bring to the team.

After a season of covering the sport from a social perspective, we began preparation for the upcoming season. The team launch was covered and personally, felt more comfortable and confident for the year ahead.

The first action of the year was testing – a chance for everyone to test their new cars and get race ready for the year ahead. The first day arrived and I was pumped, ready for the tests to begin. As it hit 8:00 AM, the sessions began, and our car headed to the track.

A minute later, a large wave of comments, tweets, and messages came through to the channels, mainly on about the car and its appearance. The car that left the garage, was a different car to the one presented to everyone during the launch day, and everyone was jumping on board asking questions about why at first glance, looked similar to another competitor’s car.

The messages targeted towards the team through tweets, messages, replies were very mixed. A few positives, showing their support, but a lot of negative messages were made towards the team and towards the admin, myself, even though I only produce the content on socials and not involved in the planning, or construction of the actual cars.

During that period of my role there, it was a very tough period to take given I’ve never seen this level of negativity before. Even though it wasn’t personally aimed at me, it still hurt seeing the messages the team were receiving and that wave that people sharing negative thoughts behind a keyboard.

It changed my mood and approached towards working on socials during that period and made me take some time off socials myself personally but continued to operate when it came to working.

When working in live sport, you have to be prepared for any scenario possible at best. Posting on Socials itself is like a sport itself because of the pressure of nailing every post right, making sure they’re successful and building a platform from it. But sometimes scenarios will happen, and people will react negatively towards it. It’ll happen when a player misses or an opposing team score.

But negative, and rude messages and posts towards channels shouldn’t happen. At the end of the day, there is someone behind that account and it can have an effect on their mental health by seeing those posts.

Social Media can be a great platform to use to help inspire everyone, or support each other from friends, to strangers. But it can be a place where it can affect your mental health, and it’s important to take time off away from Social Media if you begin to feel down, or someone is being nasty to you.

Important that on Social Media to be kind, don’t be negative towards people, and if someone is to you, you can mute, block, or report them. Being on Social Media can be draining for our mental health, and it is important to look after ourselves.

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