Focus on the Whole Team: Look Past Wellness, Think Wellbeing

May 2nd, 2017 | by Walt Whitfield
Focus on the Whole Team: Look Past Wellness, Think Wellbeing


In college athletics, fans see the wins and losses. Quite often, fans only see the wins and losses. As an athletic department, several aspects prove success. Many wins or loses happen far from the public’s eyes. Wellness is similar. It is easy to gauge your physical health through measurements and tests. But to create overall wellbeing, there are life aspects that are just as important as your physical health. Here are a few aspects that deserve attention.   

Career Wellbeing

A career is an important aspect of everyday life and involves your daily routine beyond an occupation. A college athletics career is no different from any other job in regards to its control over one’s daily schedule. To that point, many studies have highlighted career as wellbeing’s most critical pillar, and unfortunately, one study shown 70% of Americans are unhappy with their career. If you are part of the 70%, it is important to find ways to stay engaged during the workday. Joining committees, encouraging coworkers, and scheduling breaks with your boss are all ways to increase satisfaction at work. Workday engagement benefits social, mental, and physical health. 

Social Wellbeing

The great thing about college athletics is the unique social environment it creates. Unfortunately, sporting events mean extended work for many within athletic departments. This highlights some of the issues behind a demanding job. Early mornings, late nights, and weekends at work collide with the social circles many have built throughout life. Positive social interaction is important to wellbeing as it typically takes one away from the stress of other issues. Finding ways to detach from daily stressors is vital. Planned vacations, weekly or monthly date nights, and attending events as a fan are great ways to increase social wellbeing. Make time outside of work to enjoy your family and friends. 

Financial Wellbeing

Finances are very important to most Americans. Typically, financial wellbeing involves having enough money for life’s basics and money for long-term stability. Studies have shown almost two-thirds of Americans stress about their financial situation. Financial issues can affect social desires and healthcare choices. A good way to increase financial wellbeing is through education. Read books or reach out to friends who understand wealth management. Another way is to track your finances through budget or spending plans. Controlling your money is a great way to strengthen your wellbeing. 

Community Wellbeing

Community wellbeing is about giving back to society. Although college athletics as an industry is very community oriented, an athletic employee may not always understand the impact they have amid working. Thus, it is important for all employees to find ways to give back to the community outside of work. Speak to successful people. Happy people. Most will say they feel rewarded by giving back to their community. Charity is as simple as running a local nonprofit’s 5k run or as time-consuming as a member of a nonprofit’s board of directors. The point is giver’s gain. Find ways to give back.

Wellbeing is an expansion on wellness. Physical fitness is important, but people should think broader. Find ways to better your career, engage socially, understand finance, and give back whenever possible. A life well live demands more out of individuals.

Walt Whitfield About Walt Whitfield
Walter Whitfield is an employee wellness consultant and founder of Lavoro Workplace Wellness where he helps businesses improve their workplace through employee wellness strategies. He has worked with corporations like Chevron, BP, and Seadrill. Walter is a former college athlete for Louisiana’s Ragin Cajuns where he competed in cross country and track, winning Sunbelt conference titles in the 3k Steeplechase and 5k. He is married, has 3 kids, and loves all things New Orleans Saints and Louisiana’s Ragin Cajuns.

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