The Danny Frawley Center launches its first research project

The Danny Frawley Center has launched a new project in partnership with Monash University’s Turner Institute to research the latest advances in athlete mental health.

Research at the Danny Frawley Center (DFC) is set to go down in history with a mental fitness study co-founded by the Center and Monash University’s Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health. Mental fitness goes beyond physical fitness to focus on maintaining your state of well-being and performing at peak performance, even in stressful situations.

Although the area of ​​mental fitness has already been explored, it is believed that this will be the first study to specifically investigate and assess its impact on the mental wellbeing, sleep and performance of elite AFL athletes. .

Covering both the AFL and AFLW programs, the study will be led by Dr. Allie Peters, who was recruited as the Danny Frawley Center’s first investigator. Dr. Peters will also be supported by global mindfulness expert Professor Craig Hassad OAM, Dr. Melinda Jackson and Dr. Elise Facer-Childs, Director of Research and Translation at DFC.

“This research will build on our understanding of mental fitness and its impact on the mental and physical performance of athletes,” said Dr. Facer-Childs.

“The initial aim of the study is to develop bespoke mental conditioning programs for our AFL and AFLW teams. At DFC, we want to conduct evidence-based research that will allow us to test and evaluate the success of these programs.

The program will be co-designed in consultation with St Kilda Football Club’s Head of Mental Health and Wellbeing, Dr Ben Robbins, and current and former players and staff, to ensure that the approach is tailored to the needs of 74 players.

“We will examine the impact of these programs on factors such as emotional regulation, cognitive function, sleep, and ultimately performance on the court. If we can show there is a benefit, we will look to translate those findings and bring the programs to clubs at the community level through the Danny Frawley Centre,” said Dr Facer-Childs.

“Through this partnership with St Kilda FC and DFC, researchers at the Turner Institute will translate our world-class research into programs aimed at improving the health and well-being of elite athletes and the wider community” , said Professor Shantha Rajaratnam, deputy director of the Turner Institute. Institute, says.

The first phases of the project began a few months ago, with an expected completion date of April next year.

As part of the collaboration with the Turner Institute, representatives from the Danny Frawley Centre, including Justin Koschitzke, will be guest speakers at the Turner UK OK? Day. This will be held at Monash University on Thursday, September 8 at 11 a.m.

Research Opportunities: The Danny Frawley Center is currently seeking applications for a doctoral fellowship at the center, which will begin in early 2023. Click here for more details.

Biography of Dr. Allie Peters
Dr. Allie Peters is a licensed psychologist and has completed postgraduate studies in psychology. Her doctoral research examined mindfulness-based approaches for sleep difficulties. Allie is the first postdoctoral fellow at the Danny Frawley Centre. She is currently developing and evaluating a core mindfulness-based program and an elite mental conditioning program for AFL players. In addition to her research skills, Allie has over 13 years of experience in the healthcare industry. His roles have included: sleep psychologist at Melbourne Sleep Disorders Center and St Vincent’s Hospital; school setting as a school psychologist, presenter and group facilitator in sleep and mindfulness and has worked in private practice for over 10 years with a wide range of client groups. She is the founder and director of Growing Connections Psychology and Psychotherapy. Allie is passionate about developing cutting-edge interventions to improve performance and quality of life.

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