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Grief is a natural response to loss and can significantly impact your emotional well-being.

PCOM Downloadable Player's Toolkit Includes:

  • Don't rush the grieving process

  • It's Okay to take time to heal.

  • Symptoms

  • Talk openly about your feelings

  • Coping Strategies

  • Resources

We hope you find this toolkit helpful in understanding and managing these mental health issues that could affect you as a soccer player.

Note: Always consult your healthcare provider for a diagnosis and treatment plan tailored to your individual needs. This information should not be used for diagnosing or treating health problem or disease; anyone seeking personal medical advice should consult with a licensed professional.




Hey there, soccer stars! It's the Philadelphia Union and PCOM team here. We recognize that grief can be especially tough at your age, and navigating it can be both a comfort and a challenge. Let's relate it to to what you understand, soccer.

Imagine this:

After a challenging week where you faced a personal loss, you're back on the field, trying to keep your spirits up. You post a picture after a heartfelt match to remember that amidst grief, there's still life. Your friends and teammates rally behind you with supportive comments, sharing their condolences and admiration. But there's always that one comment, maybe ignorant or insensitive, that stings, reminding you of the pain.

That amalgamation of support, memories, and vulnerability? That's the roller-coaster of grief.

You might experience:

  1. Unsolicited Advice: Just like that player who yells instructions but never plays the ball, some might offer "helpful" advice on how to grieve.

  2. Memorial Posts: Tributes to your lost one can be heartwarming but also reopening the wound at times.

  3. Ignorant Remarks: Some might minimize your grief or make offhand comments not realizing its impact.

  4. Support: Messages from unexpected friends or acquaintances sharing their stories or just lending an ear.

When you encounter insensitivity, remember: it's like a misplaced pass in a match. It's often unintentional and not meant to hurt.

So, How Can You Navigate?

  1. Speak Your Heart: Share what you're comfortable with, whether it's memories, grief, or hope.

  2. Seek Genuine Connection: Reach out to those who genuinely support and understand your journey.

  3. Filter Yourself: It's okay to mute or take a break from things that intensify your grief.

  4. Express Gratitude: For the supportive teammates and friends who stand by you during these times.


While social media provides a platform to express and connect, it can be a double-edged sword:

  1. Shared Memories: Seeing memories can bring both joy and pain.

  2. Comparative Grief: Observing others' grief can sometimes make you question your own process.

  3. Distraction: While it can offer a break, it might also prevent you from processing your feelings.

How to Engage with Respect & Empathy?

  1. Be Sensitive: Celebrate memories, but be respectful, remembering everyone grieves differently.

  2. Seek Support Groups: Engage in groups or forums dedicated to grief and healing.

Team Spirit in Grief

  1. Support Over Silence: If a teammate is grieving, show your support. Sometimes, just being there helps.

  2. No Drama: Avoid spreading hearsay or conjecture. Stay genuine.

  3. Respect Their Journey: Everyone grieves differently. Offer space when needed and support when asked.

Remember, grief is a personal journey, and there's no one-size-fits-all. Whether on the pitch or off, let's approach each other with understanding, patience, and love. Just as every team member is essential on the field, every person's feelings and grief are valid off it.

Stay authentic, support each other, and remember: It's okay to grieve at your own pace. Whether on or off the field, together, we've got this.


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