Mental Health for Young Athletes

Mental Health for Young Athletes
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Mental health is a crucial part of overall wellbeing, yet it’s often difficult to talk about. Mental illness affects one in five people each year in the UK, and young people are particularly vulnerable – they’re more likely to be diagnosed with a mental illness than adults. While many sports can be incredibly beneficial for developing confidence and wellbeing, the competitive nature of some sports can also take its toll on young athletes. Lets find out how a good mental health for young athletes can help to deliver increased performance.

Sport England reports that one in 10 young people have self-harmed or attempted suicide at least once before the age of 14 years old, but these numbers are likely higher as many people don’t feel comfortable discussing these issues openly or may not know where to turn for help.

If you suspect that your child might be struggling with their mental health or know someone who needs support but feels unable to ask for it themselves, there are plenty of things that you can do! First of all: don’t panic! The vast majority of children will go through periods where they struggle with anxiety or depression – this is normal behaviour during adolescence (the transitional period between childhood and adulthood).

Encourage them to try multiple sports

Mental Health for Young Athletes

In addition to keeping their minds and bodies healthy, it is also important for young athletes to try different sports. Different sports can lead to a variety of benefits such as:

  • Learning and improving skills they may not have been able to develop in their primary sport. For example, if you played tennis but didn’t enjoy it as much because of your teammates or the coach, then trying basketball might help you find the qualities that were missing from tennis and make you happier with your activity choice.
  • Finding out what they are good at so that they can pursue these interests further and potentially make a career out of them down the line. For example, if someone is really good at swimming but doesn’t enjoy it enough or feels pressured by other people on their team who are faster than them then maybe they should try another form of exercise such as running instead where they will feel more comfortable succeeding (or failing).

Model positive attitudes and behaviors

Mental Health for Young Athletes

  • Model positive attitudes and behaviors.
  • Be a good role model. A supportive parent is an important ally for your child, so be sure to help them learn about healthy relationships, self-esteem, and confidence building. Help them understand that success doesn’t always come easily; it’s the result of hard work, perseverance, and support from their family and friends.
  • Be a good listener. Pay close attention when they have something to say—they’ll appreciate knowing you care enough to listen attentively! It can also help if you give them space to express their thoughts without interrupting or judging them. This can be especially helpful if they’re worried about something like being bullied at school or struggling with anxiety or depression (both common issues among young people).
  • Be a good communicator: Good communication skills are essential for kids who want to keep their parents on board with the decisions they make regarding sports participation—which can include playing on multiple teams simultaneously—and other activities like music lessons or camps during the summer months when school isn’t in session anymore.

Don’t get too competitive in sports

Mental Health for Young Athletes

Don’t get too competitive in sports. The youth sports environment can be highly competitive, and it’s easy to become focused on being the best or winning every game. But competitiveness can also make you less likely to enjoy playing sports and cause you to behave badly on the field.

If you’re getting angry, losing control of yourself or taking things personally when you lose—these are all signs that your level of competition is too high for your age group. It may make sense to change your focus from trying to win every game and instead focus on having fun playing the sport itself.

Help them manage their emotions


Here are some tips to help your child manage their emotions.

  • Talk about it. As difficult as it may be for you, encourage your child to talk about their feelings. You can start by asking what was upsetting them and then ask open-ended questions like “How do you feel?” or “What could have helped?” Letting your child go at their own pace will help them express themselves effectively and give them time to process the situation without feeling rushed or pressured.
  • Make time for playtime together, even if that means setting aside one hour each day when there’s no homework or chores that need doing! Games like Monopoly Junior (for younger kids) or Settlers of Catan (for older ones) are great ways to connect with each other while having fun competing against each other too! This is especially helpful after an argument between siblings where they might feel angry toward one another but having this kind of bonding experience afterwards helps rebuild trust among family members who’ve had hard times lately.

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  • Be a positive influence. You can do this by being encouraging, showing that you’re there for them, and helping them succeed.
  • Be a good role model. Show your athlete that you care about their well-being by giving them useful advice on how to nurture their mental health and avoid burnout.
  • Be a good friend. Achieving success in sports doesn’t always mean achieving happiness, so be sure to emphasize the importance of having fun along the way (as well as making sure they have time for friends who aren’t involved in athletics).
  • Be a good teammate or coach: If your child is part of an organized team or league, make sure they know how much you believe in them and are willing to back up that belief with actions—such as attending games or practices even if they’re not playing at all times (or even at all).

Foster independence, within limits

It is important to foster independence, within limits. Don’t be afraid to let them make their own decisions and mistakes. Don’t be afraid to let them make their own friends, even if they’re not the “right” ones for you.

You can provide structure and guidance, but don’t overdo it or your child will feel stifled and resentful at the controls placed on him/her by parents who want everything done a certain way.


In conclusion, it seems important to note that sports and athletics can be a great way for youth to express themselves and improve their physical health. However, they also place numerous mental health stresses on young people due to the constant pressure they feel from coaches, teachers, parents, and even peers. It has been shown that these pressures often lead kids down the road of mental illness if not addressed properly. For this reason, it is essential for parents and professionals alike to recognize the signs early on so that they may begin treating their child as soon as possible before things get worse. We hope you found this post helpful!

Also Read :- Skin Care Routine for Athletes. 


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