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Be on the Lookout for Anxiety in Young Athletes

By Dr. Dev Mishra, Soccer America, 10/11/18, 12:00PM CDT

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As coaches, parents and teammates we can go a long way to helping those in need by recognizing possible signs of anxiety or depression.

According to the National Institute for Mental Health, it’s estimated that about 32 percent of all adolescents in the USA have some form of anxiety and about 8 percent have what would be classified as severe anxiety. It shouldn’t be surprising then that the estimates for anxiety disorders in young athletes is also high.

While there are only a limited number of high-quality studies about anxiety specific to the athletic population, it’s still estimated that more than 30 percent of collegiate student-athletes have experienced overwhelming anxiety.

Anxiety disorders have a profoundly negative impact on quality of life as well as overall health. We also have evidence that student-athletes with preseason anxiety and depression are statistically higher risk for developing in-season sport-related injuries.