For a lot of people, 2020 has been a year that has challenged and tested them more than any year before it.
We have had to find new ways to train.
New ways to communicate.
New ways to exist.
However, when we look back on the year that was in the decades and centuries to come, 2020 will universally be remembered as one of transformation.
At Arete, 2020 has been a year of transformation in more ways than one.
This year has seen us evolve from our inception as Fitmind to the development of our new identity as Arete.
It has seen us take tremendous strides forwards from being an Instagram page to a full-blown, game-changing mobile app.
There have been many significant steps on this journey.
We have developed what we believe is a truly unique community, committed to the acknowledgement and destigmatisation of mental health for athletes of all ages and abilities.
We have assembled a team of diverse professionals, including sports psychologists, physiotherapists, nutritionists and more to deliver expert content that has allowed us to shift the needle.
Instead of just promoting athletes to share their experiences and be bold in exploring their connection with their mind, we can now empower them to make informed choices and changes to better engage with their mental health and wellbeing.
To help them find their limits and to crush them.
Many of you reading this will have known us initially as Fitmind.
When we commenced this journey, we embarked on it looking to take the lived experience of Ahmad Taleb, a member of our founding group and a goalkeeper at Melbourne City Football Club who has represented Australia as a youth international, and his team-mates to find a better way forward for youth athletes.
One that encouraged greater awareness of their minds.
One that enabled youth athletes to understand what was happening in their heads when they were frustrated with a poor performance or result.
One that helped coaches understand how their players are feeling.
A way forward that would allow players to be the best they could possibly be.
To help athletes build inner strength and equip them with the mental training tools to tackle any challenges.
As we took our first tentative steps, we started as an Instagram account.
On it, Ahmad would share some of his experiences and content he found helpful along his journey.
In return, he was met with dozens of athletes eager to share and learn from the experiences of others.
Then it was hundreds.
Eventually, it was thousands.
As the numbers grew, so did the urgency to find a solution and the realisation that this conversation was not merely about good mental wellbeing.
This was a bigger picture than building fit minds.
It was about helping people reach their potential.
It was about achieving Arete.
Arete is the Ancient Greek philosophy of reaching your potential.
And it goes deeper than A+’s and gold-stars.
It’s about living up to your potential and becoming the best version of yourself.
This quest for excellence has been embedded in our psyche for millennia.
We know that it is not achieved by simply ticking a box, reading a quote or watching a motivational video.
It is a constant practice. It requires ongoing effort and engagement.
In a world of shortened attention spans, a growing list of priorities and pressures - especially for youth athletes where every calorie is tracked, every kilometre counted, every milligram measured in the pursuit of perfection - we knew we had to deliver an exceptional solution to an exceptional problem.
And that’s where Arete comes in.
Arete is a game-changing mobile application designed using the latest in Artificial intelligence and Natural Language Processing techniques.
The platform combines technology, psychology and storytelling to deliver highly personalised experiences and exercises that encourage young athletes to embark on an ongoing journey that starts with the mind.
It takes athletes through the crucial steps of opening up and through an ongoing discovery in the importance of self-reflection, discipline, virtue, courage and - perhaps most importantly - dedication.
In doing so, we strive towards our goal of setting the next generation of athletes up for success, on and off the field.
Over the last six months we’ve been working hard to take the message and teachings we have delivered via our various social media platforms and provide it to our community in an intuitive, proactive manner that is tailor-made for every individual.
No two athletes are the same, and so no two journeys towards Arete are the same.
Using the power of artificial intelligence, the Arete app delivers on four key features that will help every individual athlete fulfil their potential.
The first time you fire up Arete, you’re going to be asked to design and name your very own AI-powered Arete Wellbeing Coach.
This coach is available anytime, anywhere and is anonymous.
Through daily interaction, your coach will help you visualise your wellbeing over time, empowering users to engage with their mental wellbeing, pinpoint areas of improvement, and access recommended guidance and exercises.
This encourages a proactive approach to mental wellness in youth athletes and helps to drive help-seeking activities when needed.
All done with simple, text-based interactions.
Every day, your coach will text you to check-in and ask you how you’re feeling, how you slept, how you trained and even how you ate.
It’s just like texting a mate, except this is a mate powered by the combined knowledge of leading sports psychologists, physios, dietitians and more.
The information you provide your AI-powered Wellbeing Coach will flow into a visual Wellbeing Tracker, making it super easy for users to track their wellbeing over time.
This snapshot will highlight areas for improvement and will guide you to practices - be it guided meditations or a nutritious recipe - you can incorporate in your days, weeks and months ahead to steadily build your knowledge and understanding of how your individual mental health works and the things you can do to improve it.
Challenges provide thought-provoking exercises that help users learn more about the key topics Arete focuses on, those being:
Just to name a few!
The challenges are geared towards helping athletes engage in practices that encourage a higher level of focus on the athlete’s mental wellbeing.
With the athlete’s permission, the data can be shared with their coach.
For coaches, this enables unprecedented insight into the wellbeing of their players on and off the pitch and allows them to engage with the player, or if required, refer them to a professional for further help.
These four key functions of the Arete app only scratch the surface of what is possible.
We genuinely believe that with the power of Arete, we can propel mental fitness and mental health into the sporting mainstream and with it, build a new generation of athletes ready to fulfil their potential like none before them.
Keep your eye on our blog for more insights and news into what’s coming from Arete as we inch closer and closer to our public release.
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