Editor’s note: This article by Dev Mishra, M.D. (president of Sideline Sports Doc) first appeared in SoccerAmerica. Sideline Sports Doc is advancing the Players First pillar of Player Health & Safety through resources that include an online injury recognition training course.
Approximately 32% of American teenagers have a form of anxiety, while 8% suffer from severe anxiety, according to the National Institute for Mental Health. Although there is only a fairly small number of high-level studies specific to anxiety amongst the athlete population, it is estimated that more than 30% of college athletes have experience overwhelming anxiety at some point.
Not only can anxiety disorders result in a strong negative impact on one's quality of life, physical, and mental health, but there is also evidence that student-athletes with preseason anxiety and depression are at higher risk to pick-up sports related injuries during the season.
However, once anxiety or depression has been recognized, there is treatment that when successful can lead to significant improvement in quality of life. Coaches, parents, and teammates can provide a major assistance to those in need by recognizing potential signs of anxiety and depression.
This graphic from the NCAA provides helpful signs to recognize symptons of anxiety, and help remove the stigma by getting these young athletes the help they need:
A National Association member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer fosters the growth and development of soccer clubs in order to create the best possible environment for players of all ages.
Anchored by Players First and its five pillars of Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety, US Club Soccer offers registration, league- and cup-based competition platforms, player identification and a variety of other programming, resources and services.
US Club Soccer is sponsored by Nike and supported by LaLiga through a technical partnership.