Having grown up in a family of psychologists and pro athletes, T.M. Robinson-Mosley, Ph.D. says she understands the challenges elite athletes face.
“When you’re a pro or collegiate athlete…you’ve invested thousands of hours,” Mosley added. “Athletes are often a vulnerable population that people do not recognize because [they] don’t identify what warning signs of distress are. Because you’re doing so well publicly, but you’re missing these other areas where folks are really, really struggling,” Mosley told Hypepotamus.
She’s now on a mission to build a tech platform to ensure elite athletes have the mental health support they need. Aptly named The Playbook, Mosley’s platform is a plug and play performance mental health solution.
While the end users are athletes, coaches or referees, The Playbook is a B2B platform that works with professional leagues and organizations improve peak performance and mental health metrics.
After working with the league through a diagnostic phase, The Playbook builds a “customized game plan” to provide athletes with the specialized mental health support. Through the data collected, The Playbook looks to provide practical tools, strategies, and content to those athletes.
The Playbook’s clients include 60 national champion teams across the NCAA, NBA, NFL, and NBA, 22 Olympians, and 50 collegiate athletic directors.
It is all about changing the sports landscape, Mosley said.
The problem, Mosley said, is that the sports ecosystem isn’t traditionally designed to help anxiety, stress, depressive symptoms, substance use issues, and other mental health concerns that show up differently in athletes.
“I was frustrated because I was helping folks 1:1, but then sending them right back off to these environments that often were not conducive to them being well and then being able to perform,” she said. “I knew I needed to work with the entire ecosystem of a sports enterprise.”
Building The Playbook
Mosley says she specifically thrives at the “nexus around peak performance, wellness, and belonging.”
She’s a second generation psychologist and has family members in the MLB and NFL. But she’s also a star athlete in her own right, playing rugby at LSU and earning medals at several USA boxing tournaments before turning her attention to psychology.
While building up her private practice, her career took her across the higher education landscape. She’s on the faculty at Spelman College and previously held Dean positions at Dartmouth College and the University of California Santa Cruz.
There are certainly many entrepreneurs working at the intersection of technology and mental health. The space boasts upwards of 10,000 active apps, according to a UConn study. While apps like Calm, Headspace, and BetterHelp provide key virtual therapy options, none are designed specifically to help athletes and teams succeed.
Like any good sports-focused startup, Mosley has built up a strong team around her of operations, sports medicine, and tech pros.
While The Playbook team is found across the country, Mosley said headquartering such a startup in Atlanta is strategic.
“Atlanta is a cultural hub….whether it’s music, whether it’s sports, entertainment. Atlanta is a very rich historic city where so many different backgrounds and perspectives have been able to come together to create an outstanding kind of cultural milieu…[that has] been really exciting and supportive. “
Right now, Mosley is focused on fundraising. The goal is to raise $500K to move out of the bootstrapping phase of the business and fully build out the platform.
“We have the clientele, we have the IP…we just need the platform to be able to amplify that,” Mosley said.