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According to The World Health Organization (WHO), mental health is “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”

Athletes want to reach their full potential, but many are not able to rise above the first two levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, particularly once they transition from their sport(s) of choice. PBTG’s 7 Pillars of Success are essential to the mental health and well-being of those striving to reach that next level.  When athletes are struggling in any one of these areas, it can damage overall well-being making it virtually impossible to achieve one’s full potential.

Professionals Beyond the Game realize that athletes are increasingly facing mental health and wellbeing challenges while they “play through the pain”:


  • Of the 460,000 collegiate athletes playing 24 NCAA sports, only 1 to 1.5% play professionally while the majority transitioned into a life that did not revolve around their athletic talents.

  • According to researchers at Drexel and Kean universities, nearly 25% of collegiate athletes have reported clinically relevant levels of depressive symptoms 

  • A University of Washington study showed that between 2003 – 2013, 477 student-athletes died from suicide

  • According to a survey by The Recovery Village, nearly half of respondents believed that the NCAA doesn’t do enough to help student-athletes deal with mental illness

  • ScienceDaily reports that from 2008 to 2014, one poor mental health day in a month was associated with a 1.84% drop in the per capita real income growth rate, resulting in $53 billion less total income each year

    • The global economic cost of mental illness is expected to be more than $16 trillion over the next 20 years, more than the cost of any other non-communicable disease


No single program will address these challenges. That’s why PBTG will bring together a wide range of community teammates that are committed to success beyond sports — not just the athletes and their families, but also businesses, healthcare professionals, civic organizations, nonprofits and investors. PBTG’s collective impact framework guides community teammates’ progress to improve outcomes and expand opportunities for every former collegiate athlete through guiding principles and a continuum of quality benchmarks around the 7 Pillars of Success. Community teammates commit to a shared vision and hold each other accountable for getting results.


PBTG collects and shares data annually on the progress the network is making on the 7 Pillars of Success. These findings will be used as evidence to make decisions in real time, improve and scale practices, and target resources to support what works. In short, data gives PBTG the insight and information to make smarter investments in the success of life beyond sports.


As part of PBTG’s strategic plan, the network will work toward better results and closing gaps through stronger collaboration. Together with our community teammates accelerating progress in changing systems and improving outcomes, we will collectively move toward achieving our ultimate goal of supporting the success of every athlete, cradle to legacy.

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