Sports and Mental Health

Sports have always been a large part of my life. Ever since a young age numerous hours have been dedicated to practices. Having to balance my time between school work, and sports always felt like a mentally daunting and exhausting task. However, everyone has always talked about the positive benefits of being physically active. So I decided to take a further look.

According to an article written by healthline sports have numerous amounts of benefits. These benefits include mood improvement, reduction of stress and depression, and many more. They claim that from physical activity your mind becomes distracted from daily activities that cause stress, and reduce levels of stress hormones. Although this may be true, from my personal experience in high school sports. Coming home after practice and still having to complete my daily homework assignments and studying caused a significant amount of stress.

ncaalogo1According to the NCAA, mental health issues are a very large issue within collegiate sports. They claim that they face additional factors that causes stress compared to non athletes such as performance pressure and time demands. A USA today article mentions how the rules state that football coaches can only demand up to 20 hours of time per week. It also mentions how almost 66% of Division I athletes considered themselves more as athletes than students. College school work demands an enormous amount of time and effort, and having time to practice, study film, lift weights, and other activities related to your sport sounds impossible.

Recently the NCAA has started to really try and tackle the issue of mental health. With issues that arise from college sports such as hyper aggressive behavior and anxiety due to the extraneous time commitments, it has truly become a major problem. According to an article written by Jake New, the NCAA has released new guidelines to aid the mental health of their athletes. These include mental heath screenings, mental health education for athletes and more.

hovedskadeMental health and sports has also gained a lot of attention due to the medias coverage of concussions. According to Sciecnenordic¬†post, a Danish scientist performed a study that stated that head injuries can increase the risk of developing mental disorders by up an an astounding 439%. That’s terrifying in my personal opinion.

With mental heath being such a relevant issue in todays society, the studies being done and help being provided is very beneficial. Before researching this topic, I would have never known how large of a connection there is with mental health issues and sports. The continuance of care and research is the only way to make sure that the problems we face today can be decreased and or hopefully eliminated in the future.

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5 thoughts on “Sports and Mental Health

  1. pkr5098

    I had no idea this was an issue with college athletes. I too was big into sports and understand coming home late from practices and games it was hard to get everything else done that you needed to. My first thought was playing sports taught great time management skills, which may be the case with high school sports, but reading this I am surprised at the number of college athletes struggling being a student.

  2. Justine Gaines

    This is a really interesting article. Since I was a very competitive athlete in high school, I definitely know how it feels to come home from practice and have an overwhelming amount of stuff to do. It is really draining. I would stay up so late to complete all of my homework since I needed a bit of time to relax after school and practice and usually did not start my homework until 8 pm. I feel like teachers should be more lenient on a student athlete’s workload because the overwhelming feeling that there are not enough hours in the day to get what you need to get done is enough to make you go crazy. This is why I feel that mental illness is so prevalent among student athletes; they just do not have enough time to get everything done between having schoolwork, practice, and downtime. I hope that something can be done about this issue so that mental illness among student athletes does not become worse.

  3. Thomas Tatem Moore

    This is a very interesting article as it shows the effects of having to succeed both on the field and in the classroom brings to college athletes. It shows how much shorter athletes have to do the same amount of school work normal students have, it truly is a full time job. As a former high school athlete I know that was a little bit of a challenge I can only imagine how much more intensified that challenge is on the college level.

  4. Mark Paterra

    This seems like a very interesting issue. I wonder if the locker room atmosphere plays any part in the development of these mental issues. I know hazing in locker rooms has been a huge problem for many collegiate schools, and I wonder if this has any correlation with the development of mental disease.

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