Nebraska’s sports psychologist focusing on mental health training

May 7, 2020 / Sports Medicine
University of Nebraska’s director of sports psychology Dr. Brett Haskell is encouraging student-athletes to partake in mental health training during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With Big Ten Conference schools extending the start of team activities until at least June 1, Haskell knows there is a level of anxiety that comes with waiting and the unknown.

mental health“For our athletes, there’s so much unpredictability,” Haskell said in an interview with KLKN-TV ABC8. “They thrive on routine, consistency, and structure. They have very little of that right now.”

Haskell has relayed to her student-athletes the idea of staying mentally focused as a way to cope with uncertain times.

“The way we respond mentally and emotionally to uncertainty, and difficult environments, and adversity is actually something we can train really well right now because we have lots of that,” she told KLKN-TV.

For the last two years Haskell has served as the leader of the Huskers’ sports psychology department and is apart of the Big Ten’s Mental Health and Wellness Cabinet, consisting of representatives from all 14 Big Ten schools in addition to Notre Dame and Johns Hopkins. The cabinet focuses on meditation practices through an app called “Calm.”

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“There’s a lot of ‘buy-in’ in sports right now around those concepts, from a mental training standpoint,” Haskell told KLKN-TV. “So we figured we could access that for regular and consistent training for staff and student-athletes.”

To read the full story on Dr. Haskell and her efforts in promoting mental health training on KLKN-TV ABC8, click here.