October 21, 2023
By Fred Liggett
The full-length documentary “Not Good Enough” was shown for the first time on Monday, Oct. 9 at a premiere event held at the B&B Theatres in downtown Kansas City. The premiere that evening was part of the Shut Out the Stigma initiative. The Shut Out the Stigma initiative is a partnership between the Kansas City Royals and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Kansas City.
Over a year in the making the film features interviews with area parents, coaches, youth athletes and mental health professionals. The interviews provided details on the pressures youth athletes have and the consequences on their mental health. The documentary can be found by visiting shutoutthestigma.com/documentary, the Royals YouTube Channel and possibly Amazon Prime in the near future.
A local tie to the project is Lee’s Summit North tennis coach Stu Reece who is prominently featured in the powerful film. Playing a major role in this endeavor was Tony Snethen, Vice President of Brand Innovation for the KC Royals. Snethen says, “The project took about five years to complete.” Admits “been kind of a passion of mine.”
Snethen was in the advertising world before joining the Royals. He states, “About a year and a half ago talked about it with Blue Cross & Blue Shield. Talked about it during May which is Mental Awareness Month. Looked into revealing it on Mental Health Day which was on Tuesday, Oct. 10.
So far the feedback on the film has been “so overwhelmingly positive” Snethen says. Snethen adds “this needs to be in every school.” Snethen feels so strongly about this that all athletic directors were invited to attend the premiere. Snethen calls the movie “a mandatory viewing in KC area schools.” The movie shows “how to treat kids and then let them take the lead.”
A mental health professional involved in the project was Dr. Raelene Knolla the senior medical doctor and vice president of population health at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Kansas City. Knolla after seeing it says, “It’s more powerful than I thought it would be.” Knolla states the goals were to “promote behavioral health.” Knolla adds, “Youth sports and focusing on the ride home, can be more harm than help.” Hopes are for viewers to “increase self-awareness on our behaviors.” The idea is to have “youth have fun playing sports.” The documentary “Not Good Enough” is more than good enough to view for those who make an impact on youth sports.