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Oakland Roots is thrilled to highlight the work of Mental Health and Sport Performance Coach, Lisa Bonta Sumii, LCSW, CSW. May is Mental Health Awareness Month and the Oakland Roots want to share the value that Bonta Sumii brings as a member of the Technical Team and a fundamental part of the Oakland Roots’ Nurtured Roots program. Bonta Sumii joined Oakland Roots staff at the beginning of the 2021 USL Championship season, becoming one of few professional sports teams with a mental health expert on the coaching staff.

“Lisa is a key piece to my staff and making sure my guys are 100% ready to train, compete and also in their personal life. The holistic approach is key with athletes and Lisa gives us the ability to have that,” said Head

Coach Juan Guerra. “From the moment I met Lisa to now having worked alongside her for a couple of months I can’t begin to explain the value she brings to my staff, our players and this organization.”

With the Oakland Roots, Bonta Sumii prioritizes and tends to players mental health, which includes caring for their emotional, psychological, and social well-being. She also helps uplift the mental performance side of the team by training players on mental tools that lead to the development of mental skills. She has become someone sought after for panels, speaking engagements, and clinics around the country, as one of the leading athlete mental health experts, since joining the Oakland Roots. Most recently, Bonta Sumii spoke at TedxWilmington on the intersection of race, mental health, and sport.

“Athlete mental health should be prioritized just as much as physical health,” says Bonta Sumii. “Coach Juan Guerra shares this same value and perspective and supports the work I do as a regular presence at the training facility where I hold individual, small group, and team sessions, as well as the opportunity to observe training.”

Bonta Sumii came to the Oakland Roots with over 21 years of experience as a psychotherapist. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, she emphasizes the importance of the environment on the athlete’s overall well-being. She brings her specializations in ethnic/racial identity development, healing from interpersonal trauma and community violence, exploring the immigrant experience, and developing healthy family and community relationships, to her work with the players.

Bonta Sumii strives to bring athlete mental health awareness and resources to as many as possible. Her company, AthMindset, is a diverse team of clinicians and mental sport performance consultants who serve the elite athlete, at the youth, collegiate, Olympic-hopeful, and professional levels, as well as serving the elite athlete’s entire ecosystem. Bonta Sumii hosts the AthMindset Podcast, where she invites guests to discuss their perspectives and experiences on mental health in sports. She is also listed in the USOPC’s Mental Health Registry and the NFLPA’s Clinician Directory.

Original post from ORSC.

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