Arete is built by athletes for athletes, so it goes without saying that feedback from athletes around Australia has been crucial to the development of our new mobile app.
As part of the testing and refining process, Arete has partnered with four amazing foundation partners over the last couple of months to provide their athletes with early access to the Arete app.
Brisbane Strikers, Ringwood Cricket Club, DF Football and Essendon Royals Soccer Club were all chosen to participate in the app’s development as foundation partners because of their noteworthy commitment to the mental health and wellbeing of their athletes.
Since launching a beta version of the app in June, Arete has been accessed by over 200 athletes who have engaged in over 10,000 conversations with the app’s Artificial Intelligence-powered Wellbeing Coach.
We caught up with some of the athletes trialling out the app to see how they have found the experience of engaging with their mental wellbeing on an ongoing basis.
Zoe Schaffner a senior women’s player with the Essendon Royals, said her almost daily interactions with Arete and her Wellbeing Coach had afforded her a greater sense of self-awareness.
“It has brought my attention to my mood and energy levels. These are definitely things we should be aware of and the app has helped me to track these.”
“It has made me realise that my mental wellbeing is something that I can actively work on. It has also made me think that I should continue to dedicate time to my mental wellbeing in order to perform at my best.”
Zoe struggled to name just one thing she loved about using the app but said her favourite aspects were chatting to her Wellbeing Coach and taking on the challenges.
“My favourite things on the app - I couldn't decide on one - would have to be ‘chatting’ to the virtual coach.
“At first I thought it was weird, but hey, it's 2020. The conversation is usually interesting, informative and includes GIFs.
“The second thing would be the various challenges and access to multimodal resources.
“They can definitely teach you or remind you of things about yourself which makes you feel like you're bettering yourself as a person.”
Up-and-coming Brisbane Strikers player Jacob Toohey-Falck said that using Arete had provided him with some interesting insights about his own mentality and delivered a better understanding of his own mental health and the facts that influence it.
“The app has been useful for getting me back into a positive headspace, thereby helping me take action into my mental health,” he said.
“I found that I am very reliant on success and that without consistency I feel lethargic and unmotivated.
“I now understand that my mental health changes all the time and that I can quite quickly balance it by being mindful of my emotions.”
William Abbriano from DF Football said he had been using the app every day.
“I am more relaxed [since using Arete] and I like how it’s been checking on me,” he said.
Beyond these responses, Arete has received countless messages from those granted early access to the app, with some of the exceptional feedback highlighted below.
“The app has helped heaps with my physical and mental health issues … it gave me time to just let everything out and breath,” one user wrote.
Another user of Arete said they had, “struggled with handling losses,” but Arete had helped to provide, “motivation and inspiration,” they said.
“I even kicked a goal against the top team in one of our matches and we won 2-1.”
Another user wrote in to let us know that Arete had helped them overcome mental hurdles.
“Using the app has helped me to overcome hurdles in my mindset and it has allowed me to develop further mentally as an athlete,” they wrote.
“I highly recommend Arete to anyone wanting to take their mental game to the next level.”
Perhaps the most telling review came from one user who said he was glad to see a tool focussed specifically on the mental wellbeing of athletes.
“The mental side of the game isn’t talked anywhere near as much as the physical but is definitely just as, if not more important,” he said.
Arete is grateful to all the athletes at our foundation partners for their ongoing support and feedback and we look forward to being able to share a release date very soon.
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