Focus on Mental Health

Helping Youth Athletes Focus on Mental Health May be more Challenging yet Rewarding in the Long Run.

This awareness campaign is brought to you in partnership with Empower Tusc.

Pressure.

We all have pressure but our youth have pressure to perform.

According to the On Our Sleeves Behavioral Health Experts, it drives us to exceed our typical abilities and achieve things we never thought possible.

Pressure can feel like
  • Heavy Anchor
  • Heavy Weight

These make us feel like most routine activities are impossible.

There are natural pressures to perform, this is something that most love about playing the adrenaline course through us as we try to beat our opponent or our own personal best.  In youth sports success is measured as wins/losses or records, without any regard for the cost of success.

A recent example we can look at is Simone Biles with the toll that constant pressure can take, but she is not alone in her courage to step back and share her experience.  Michael Phelps and other professionals have talked about very similar issues.

While we can idolize these athletes, they experience the same challenges we all do and are often suffering to keep such a high level of performance.

As adults, we shape children and their view of completion.  We set the bar for what their idea of success looks like.

Are there athletes who love to practice long hours and have a burning desire to succeed?

Of course!

How can we help teach our youth athletes to balance all these desires with other important skills so they can handle and manage the pressures and expectations placed on them?  The pressures and expectations can come from a variety of adults such as parents, coaches, teachers, and even themselves or their peers.

Five Tips for Parents and Coaches to help are:

  1.  Be proactive
  2. Words do matter
  3. Teach emotional empowerment skills
  4. Find reasons to praise effort or specific skills
  5. Make room for other things

It’s important to start the conversations and break the stigmas.  You can find more resources about mental health with youth athletes and talking about pressure conversation starters at https://www.onoursleeves.org/.  Learn more about Counselors and psychiatrists if you think your child could use the help:

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