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Alabama football shows behavioral health department of new sports science center

Nick Saban clapping during pregame warmups before WCU game in 2019
John David Mercer - USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to football, Nick Saban cares about more than just what an athlete does on the field at Alabama.

He and Jeff Allen, the Crimson Tide’s Director of Sports Medicine, are both concerned about the mental and emotional outlook for players too.

After releasing episode five on the Sensory Deprivation chambers at the brand new sports science center, Allen took the sixth segment to provide fans a look inside the mental health aspect of Alabama football.

Dr. Ginger Gilmore-Childress is the Director of Behavioral Medicine for the program.

With everyone in her department practicing social distancing, Gilmore-Childress went inside one of the behavioral health suites and discussed how student-athletes are tested. She said the main thing is about identifying student-athletes that may have mental or behavioral health issues, screen them, and get them the resources they need. Seeing where our world is currently with social and racial issues and the Coronavirus pandemic, Gilmore-Childress said there is a lot on the plate of student-athletes.

“You may be a five-star football player or an olympic caliber athlete, but if your mental or behavioral well-being is not in tact, it won’t matter,” she said. “You will not be able to produce as an athlete on your level of competition.”

Since the global crisis, Gilmore-Childress and her staff has helped student-athletes through telemedicine.

Once the students return on campus, the behavioral department will return to group sessions and one-on-one sessions.

Family members and friends of each student-athlete want to see the total person be successful.

RELATED: Alabama changing the game with new sensory deprivation chambers

It is great to know that the University of Alabama has taken pride in the mental and behavior health of its athletes.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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