Stories Over Stigma With Coach P.
Joanne P. McCallie is an established basketball coach, author, and mental health advocate. With over 600 victories under her belt and winning The National Coach of the Year in 2005 along with her lifetime of experience dealing with her own bipolar disorder, Coach P is perfectly placed to offer wisdom on continuing to achieve success while simultaneously supporting ones own mental health. Rob asks her about her life experiences and how she encourages and educates individuals and organisations on mental health issues, coaching, sports success and leadership.
Coach P is a coach by accident. She was in sales but didn’t enjoy it and returned to Graduate School to learn about coaching and became the youngest head coach in the country.
At 30 years old Coach P was diagnosed with Manic Depression, now called Bipolar Disorder. In her late 20’s as a new mother and burgeoning coach she had her first manic episode, completely with no warning.
A manic episode projects energy and enthusiasm so can go unnoticed in a sport setting. At home is a different story, however, with insomnia, stress, hyper activity as the displaying symptoms which eventually causes a nervous breakdown and Coach P was admitted to a mental health facility.
Even though there were only three episodes, bipolar disorder has framed Coach P’s life so she wrote the book ‘The Secret Warrior’ to share her experiences to honour the loss of two of her players to cancer and suicide.
Mental health is a word to be celebrated. Mental health impairment should be respected and understood.
‘As an example of somebody who has been through mental health episodes in my life and diagnosed, I’m trying to do my best to continue to coach and be Coach P for life, and use my coaching skills to help people across the world.’ – Coach P
‘There’s a little bit of a bias towards males because there’s a thing that men don’t open up so much, are not so good at opening up as the ladies about things. So its a real hot topic and its not going away.’ – Rob
‘I was not too great of a patient. I rejected help a lot. I was trying to take my meds, denied taking my medicine, didn’t want to take my medicine and as an athlete could not believe that my body, my mind.. I was a division one scholarship athlete. How dare! It could never be the case that something was wrong.’ – Coach P
‘I was advised against this. Immediately said ‘when you share this you’re done.’ And so when I heard that I said ‘ok, I’m gonna keep coaching’, got recruited to Duke.’ – Coach P
‘Your players are not supposed to die before you. Your children are not supposed to pass before you. In April I’m in a church at Staceys funeral who died of breast cancer.’ – Coach P
‘When they are asked ‘what do you miss’ they say exactly the same as you..the banter, the craic, the laughs, the jokes and every professional footballer in this country all they want back is to be able to go back to the dressing room and have that culture.’ - Rob
Leader Manager Coach Podcast
ABOUT THE GUEST JOANNE P. McCALLIE
Coach P is an Author, Speaker, Mental Health Advocate and Hall of Fame DI basketball coach. With over 600 wins, she has coached at Maine, Michigan State, and Duke, earning National Coach of the Year in 2005.
Coach P was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at age 30. After learning how to manage her mental health and continue winning as a coach, she decided to become a mental health advocate and speaker, sharing her story to inspire others to celebrate and support their brain health.
Using the recurring theme of "faith over fear" to reduce the stigma associated with impaired mental health and encouraging those suffering from mental health issues to reach out-to coaches, student-athletes, and to all people across the world, Coach P offers real direction, experiences, and personal stories to teach and reassure those adversely affected by the dynamics of the mind and body experience.
She is the author of ‘The Secret Warrior’ telling the story of 28 years as head coach for University of Maine, Michigan State, and Duke University, and while winning repeated conference championships and advancing to the Finals of the National Championship, hiding her bipolar diagnosis for 25 of those years.
Through high energy speeches and leadersh