Tomorrow, 10 October 2020 is World Mental Health Day. Tomorrow would also be the day for you to get up close and personal into the minds of former national athletes through a #luarbiasa webinar by sports psychologists Mind Gap.

ToughASIA had a deep dive with founders of Mind Gap – Bryan Win and Joshua Ng to understand the folks behind this sports psychology business and their plans for tomorrow’s webinar.

ToughASIA: Why do you want to organise a mental health day webinar for athletes?

Bryan: We want to normalise and encourage conversations about mental health among athletes. Our ultimate aim is for athletes to be able to talk with their peers, coaches, and the public regarding their mental health, just like how they would mention having a sprained ankle.

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ToughASIA: What are some of the topics you will be addressing tomorrow?

Bryan: The main topics we will be talking about are the panelists’ personal experiences with mental health, how that has shaped them, how much support athletes are given in terms of their mental health and any barriers and challenges of getting support among other subsequent topics that might occur during the forum.

ToughASIA: What are some of the most common mental health issues faced by athletes in Malaysia?

Bryan: Due to this COVID-19 pandemic which has reduced the number of sports competitions, we see athletes struggle with the lack of tournaments and a loss of their identity as an athlete. Athletes are usually filled with training and competing, the sudden loss takes away the source of their identity, self-esteem, stress relief, and relationships that they have forged in sport.

Other issues that everyone faced especially during the Movement Control Order (MCO), was the loss of structure in their lives as well as being unable to do what they used to be able to do.

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ToughASIA: Who would be your in your esteemed panel list?

Bryan: We have the following confirmed panellists for now.

  • Daphne Ng. She represented Malaysia from 2005 to 2008, and has since represented her universities while studying sports science and sports psychology. She now runs badminton academy Duo Sparks.
  • Kerby Ng. He was a member of the Men’s National Dodgeball team of Malaysia. Most recently, Kerby was also involved in the Wales National Dodgeball team as a coach and then as a player.
  • Bernard Lee. He was a member of the Men’s National Team for Malaysia at the WFDF 2019 Asia Oceanic Ultimate & Guts Championships (AOUGC) that was held at Shanghai. The Malaysia Men Ultimate Frisbee Team finished 5th in their pool of 7 teams.
  • Philip Lew. He has been a sport psychology officer at the National Sports Institute of Malaysia (ISN) since 2014.

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ToughASIA: Can you please introduce the founders of Mind Gap?

Bryan: I’m the co-founder of Mind Gap alongside Joshua, a sports psychology consultancy based in the Klang Valley. I have a Master’s in Sport Psychology at the University of the West of England, Bristol in the UK.

Joshua: I practice sports psychology in the Malaysian sports scene. A major scope of my role is building individualised pre-match preparation plan and regulate emotional skills among the junior squash players.

I’m also currently undertaking a PhD, researching on the application and behaviour change impact of mental skills training using app-based technologies. I have a Masters in Sport and Exercise Psychology from Bangor University and is a graduate member of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and Malaysian Sports Psychology Association (MASPA).

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ToughASIA: How long have you established Mind Gap?

Bryan: We officially started Mind Gap in May 2019 when we unexpectedly got our first client job. It was a real unexpected surprise and we have not looked back since!

Our first client was an e-sports organisation and since then we’ve worked with organisations including the Squash Racquet Association of Malaysia, Majlis Sukan Negeri Pulau Pinang, Battle Arena Elites, and various individual athletes.

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What next?

You can catch the webinar at Mind Gap’s Facebook page and YouTube channel tomorrow from 1:00-2.30pm.