For an athlete, A typical day begins in the room to prepare for 6:00-9:00 am intense practice, followed by physical therapy back in the training room before every class. Every day, student-athletes take care of their bodies to shine and perform high-end training sessions to improve their physical fitness.
Student-athletes are often subjected to a considerable amount of pressure, having to maintain a balance between their academic studies and sports obligations. This higher level of stress experienced by student-athletes is mainly due to the decreased amount of time that they are authorized to complete the increased responsibilities.
Although athletes at all levels are supposed to be physically fit, that may cause many to underestimate their mental needs.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, participation in organized sports can subject an athlete to a unique set of challenges and circumstances, which can make them vulnerable to depression or anxiety. These feelings can sometimes lead to more serious conditions such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or melancholia.
Michael Phelps: has spoken for years about his struggles with depression.
Glenn Maxwell: A Famous Australian cricketer has recently opened up about his mental health issues.
The Major reasons behind the increased mental issues among student-athletes
Student-athletes experience intense athletic and academic demands in-season.
The increased usage of social media.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver once told the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference
“ We are living in a time of anxiety. I think it’s a direct result of social media. A lot of players are unhappy.”
Depressive symptoms and poor sleep quality affect the mind of student-athletes.
· High-Stress levels in a competitive environment are likely the cause of student-athletes depression and anxiety.
Though parents and coaches are often best positioned to solve this serious problem, they also often make it worse.
Student-athletes are often reluctant to seek help because of various social factors and the fear of being taken off the team or being refrained from the practice. However, it’s important to seek help and advice if you or someone you know is experiencing mental health issues.
Getting parents and coaches to talk about their kid's issues will only go so far in improving athletes’ mental health.