Hawks Athlete Wellbeing Program looking at the Rounded Player

The Hawks are delighted to announce a new program currently being trialled with Championship and Div 2  WABL teams in Under 12, 14 and 16 age groups – The Athlete Wellbeing Program. The program consists of Team sessions, Reflection sessions for players following WABL games, Parent and Coach sessions.

As a club we recognise that sport has become a source of overwhelming stress and anxiety, where once it brought joy, freedom, and empowerment. It’s clear from the statistics that it is well and truly time that the wellbeing of our athletes is prioritised, practiced and embraced.


Why Athlete Wellbeing?

Athlete Wellbeing has been widely recognised as essential to the fostering of healthy, well-rounded young athletes in the sport environment. In encompassing the mental, physical and emotional health of athletes, the Athlete Wellbeing Program supports personal growth and enhanced performance in all areas of their lives.

Athlete Wellbeing supports the personal growth and empowered performance of athletes in all areas of their lives, not just on the court. By bringing a holistic approach to the services and resources provided through this program, we help guide, support and develop the mental, physical and emotional health of athletes. Athlete Wellbeing has been widely recognised as essential to the fostering of healthy, well-rounded athletes in today’s challenging sporting environment.

We say well-rounded, because there is more to an athlete than just the physical preparation, abilities, and performance. To the detriment of our athletes, we have been forgetting this.

The sports environment can be tough. We hear the story regularly today; our athletes are struggling with confidence, they don’t know how to perform at their best during games, they don’t handle feedback well, they can’t help but hold themselves back in fear.


These statistics paint a concerning picture:

  • 1 in 3 young athletes suffering from depression and anxiety, compared to 1 in 5 Australians in the general community.
  • Burn-out rates are high, with athletes reporting higher rates of psychological distress than the community. (44% in athletes, 29% in community).
  • Mental health help seeking behaviours are low, with the stigma associated with mental health within sports being the biggest barrier for athletes.
  • For female athletes, the results are even more concerning. Females reported higher psychological distress, depression and anxiety symptoms, and body dissatisfaction than males.
  • On top of this, compared to able-bodied athletes, para-athletes reported even higher levels of psychological distress.

*Stats from AIS


Who is running it?

The Athlete Wellbeing Program is run by former Olympian, World Championships representative,  WNBL player, NBL1 West player and current Lynx Assistant Coach Natalie Burton.


Aim of the Program

The aim of this program is to enhance athlete psychological wellbeing, normalise mental health practices, help-seeking and discussions, increase and strengthen support networks (parents and coaches), and nurture an identity away from the athlete identity.

We will do this through a number of different programs and initiatives, which follow the 5 pillars of AW

  1. Mental Health
  2. Athlete conduct
  3. Education and career planning
  4. Transition
  5. Sport specific performance (skills and S&C)


Who is involved

In 2022  we are rolling out our Athlete Wellbeing Program with our WABL Championship and Div 2 teams in Under 12, 14 and 16 age groups. This is program is no extra cost to the athlete or their family.  The Hawks  are hoping to extend this across all WABL teams after the pilot season.


Mentoring Program Open to all WABL Players

Any WABL player can do private mentoring sessions with Natalie through the Enriched Athletes Program. This is not part of the PLH Athlete Wellbeing program and is at the players cost. For more information : Enriched Athletes – Home (natalieburton.com.au)


For more information

More more information on Athlete Wellbeing Program click here  : Athlete Wellbeing Program – Perry Lakes Basketball (hawksbasketball.com.au)





Posted on Friday 22nd July, 2022