There are millions of students in the United States participating in college athletics and the lifestyle does not look like it will lose popularity anytime soon. America’s obsession with sports has caused the majority of the population to place great athletes on pedestals, which only makes the opportunity to compete at a higher level more appealing.
There are immense benefits that come with competing at a higher level, including financial help, academic assistance and learning time-management skills. Athletics also presents a great analogy for life as they teach individuals to cope with adversity. However, while the good continues drawing young adults in, people are failing to acknowledge the darker side of high pressure competition.
Many student athletes, like other students, struggle keeping their mental health in check and often find themselves so wrapped up in the stress of their sport they forget to experience life as a regular student.
In general, student athletes are more likely to experience depression and anxiety over other students on campus. This is likely due to the high expectations they place on themselves, and ones their coaches place on them as well.
In addition to attending class, completing school-work and going to practice, student athletes need to get adequate rest and nutrition. Sleep and quality nutrition are crucial to achieving optimal performance. By abiding by the rules and adhering to a strict schedule, athletes find success in their sport but lack fulfillment in the most important area: the quality of their mental state.
Balance is extremely important when pursuing a healthier lifestyle and the lack of balance is more than likely the cause for the increasing mental health concerns in the world of athletics. Before making the enormous commitment to a sport, teens should know the risks and sacrifices involved.
College athletics are a great way to build a resume, keep an active lifestyle and hone leadership skills, but these benefits are useless without genuine contentment in all areas of one’s life.