Ali Krieger, is a defender on the women’s soccer team, will be representing the United States in Rio this August for the 2016 Olympics. The 2016 Olympic Games represent something more than fulfilling her lifelong dream. For Krieger, it’s a comeback.

In 2012, right before the London Olympics, Krieger tore the ACL and MCL ligaments in her knee. She was unable to recover in time to make the U.S. team. Ever since she become recovering from setbacks, working to stay positive and maintain good mental health through her recovery.

Ali Krieger Works to Eliminate the Stigma on Mental Illness

Krieger states:

“When you’re at the highest point of your career at the highest level in your sport, any moment that you have these setbacks and injuries is devastating. You have to start back from zero, and you never know if you’re going to get back to where you once were. I can only control myself, my actions, my work ethic and my attitude. Each and every day I made sure I woke up with a positive attitude and took one step at a time.”

For some people, recovering from setbacks can be extremely challenging. Many athletes find it more difficult to bounce back from injuries, a disappointing performance or a tough loss. Krieger has been working with universities Athletes Connected program, to develop a mental health initiative designed to support school’s student athletes.

The stigma surrounding mental health and mental illness is a persistent problem among the general population, but it may create additional cultural barriers for athletes. Their goal is to help students learn how to better cope with recovering from setbacks and dealing with disappointment. Loss and disappointment are inescapable parts of playing sports, so it’s important that athletes have healthy coping mechanisms in place for recovering from setbacks.

Ways to Cope

The Huffington Post suggest these tips for coping with disappointment:

  1. Recognize the negativity pattern. While it might be hard to escape the negative side of setbacks, it is important to try to think critically. Challenge negative thoughts in a way that is more true.
  2. Change your behavior. Engage in relaxing activities that promote positive mental health, like meditation.
  3. Engage your senses. If you’re feeling down, fall back on the little things that put you in a good mood. Going outside on a sunny day or drinking your favorite tea.
  4. Spend time with friends. Social support is a huge part of maintaining mental health. Make time for your friends.

Asheville Academy Can Help

Asheville Academy, a residential treatment center in a traditional school setting for girls 10-14, helps teen girls struggling with anxiety, depression and other emotional and behavioral issues. If your daughter is struggling, consider sending her to Asheville Academy, a therapeutic boarding school. With a caring staff and a clinically based program, Asheville Academy can help your daughter find success.

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