In this episode of SCI TV, we take on the topic of mental health in sports. This important, but much neglected, topic is of critical importance for any administrator, coach, or athlete.
Only MLB (since 1992) has a mental health disabled list. The NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLS do not have this category.
Our guest, Will Heininger, shares his own personal story on sports and mental health and offers great insights into better understanding the topic and thoughts on how it can be better addressed in sports at all levels.
About Will Heininger:
Will grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and attended Pioneer High School, where he excelled both in the classroom and on the field. Will’s lifelong dream of attending the University of Michigan and playing football came to fruition in 2007. While at U of M, Will was a 4-time Academic All Big Ten award winner, a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar, and the Arthur D. Robinson award winner, presented annually to the leading senior scholar on the football team. Will also started every game on the defensive line his senior year for Team 132, which finished the season 11-2 as Sugar Bowl Champions. In the classroom, Will pursued his interests in Sport Management and Economics, graduating with honors from the School of Kinesiology in 2011. Will attributes much of his success to having great mentors and leaders in his life, many of whom he met while at Michigan. Specifically, Will mentions Brady Hoke, Dr. Mark Rosentraub, Barb Hansen, and childhood hero Lloyd Carr, along with his family as those who had the biggest impact on him. Will moved to Chicago, IL, upon graduation, and had a successful stint in the finance industry before recently deciding to pursue his passions of football, mental health, and the development of young people. Since first speaking at the U of M Depression Conference last year, Will has shared his story across the country with student-athletes, medical personnel, and support staff to help raise awareness on the importance of mental health.