We’ve heard the lessons since childhood: Brush your teeth before bed. Stretch before running. Don’t eat right before swimming. And yes, it’s important to keep tabs on how your body is running physically. But it’s just as important to be aware of how you’re doing mentally.
NBA Mind Health wants to remind you to pause and check in with yourself. Ask yourself how you’re feeling and what you can do to support those around you. Like shooting 100 free throws or lifting weights, finding ways to take care of your mind can lay the foundation for wellness and success.
NBA Mind Health is guided by the central idea of humanizing mental health. Our mission is to engage, educate, and serve the NBA community and to position mental health as an essential element of wellness & excellence – both on and off the court.
We see mental health as a part of our lived experiences and are here to help you navigate challenges but to also help you identify mental-health-related opportunities and strengths.
Your mental wellness plays a big role in your feelings of happiness and success, so it’s important to make it a priority. The M.I.N.D. acronym provides one way to approach your mind health, from finding ways to check in with yourself, to learning new information, to trying new exercises, to reaching out for support when you need it.
Sometimes the most important act is one of the simplest ones: Just pause and check in with yourself. How are you feeling today? There is no right or wrong answer, and asking this question can increase self-awareness and provide an opportunity to stay on top of minor challenges before they become larger issues.
Keep learning about mental health and your own mental performance. This can help you become a self-advocate, identify available resources, and provide support to others.
Have you tried mindfulness? What about guided imagery? Find opportunities to try something new or refine skills you already have. The willingness to learn and grow is a hallmark of happy and successful people.
When a mental health challenge is beginning to affect your life, it’s time to reach out for support. There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Talk to someone you trust, such as a friend, family member, counselor, or faith leader.
This is about you and your feelings. It all starts here: How you’re feeling can affect your happiness, your relationships, and even your ability to excel on the basketball court.
This is about you and the people in your life. It’s important to have a support network — to feel like you’re connected to others, to feel like you belong.
What are you interested in? What gets you excited to learn more? This is about finding activities that promote curiosity, learning, and creativity.
NBA players are no strangers to this one. Just as healthy habits — eating well, sleeping well, exercising regularly— can affect you as a player, they can also affect you as a person.
This is about finding a sense of purpose in your life and developing meaningful connections. Some people find spiritual wellness in faith communities or volunteer opportunities.
It’s important to gain satisfaction and long-term financial stability from your work.
I've gotten more disciplined, I work harder, I work smarter, I love on my people harder. … It just keeps improving everything else for me.
- Damian Lillard
on the importance of hard work, compassion, and humility on and off the court
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