6 Mental Health Tips for Student-Athletes

Filed in Articles by on January 31, 2024

Mental Health Tips for Student-Athletes: College can be thrilling and stressful at the same time. The stress is often a result of uncertainties we might face in the student journey. Not knowing what the future holds and whether you are following the right path can sometimes result in anxiety.

It is even worse for student-athletes since they face uncertainties in their athletic and academic lives. Sometimes, the pressure to succeed on both fronts can be overwhelming, making students struggle to balance a busy academic schedule with sports commitments.

The pressure in college is already difficult to deal with even without athletics, and adding sports commitments makes it even worse. However, there are several methods you can apply to take care of your mental health.

Recommended Mental Health Tips for Student-Athletes

6 Mental Health Tips for Student-Athletes

Below are mental health tips for students who are athletes:

Find Social Support

Are you looking for the best mental health tips for student-athletes? This is one of them. Having a social circle gives one a sense of comfort and belonging. As a student-athlete, you will need people who keep reassuring and challenging you to improve.

Therefore, create a cordial relationship with your teammates or classmates. Having people to share your challenges with gives you an emotional outlet. You will be surprised how people are willing to listen and give you solid advice on addressing various challenges.

Having a social circle also means you will have people to hang out with on days when you need to wind down. Consider whether you need the social circle to be outside your team or would like to form a tight bond with your team members.

Find Professional Help

Like how you would look for professional proofreading to help polish papers expertly, you will need to look beyond the locker room or class and find a therapist to help with your mental health challenges.

Seeking professional help is a challenge most young people face since they fear vulnerability. Most student-athletes have gotten used to pushing themselves on the field without prioritizing their mental health.

However, once you master the bravery to ask for help, you will realize that your emotions are a normal reaction to what you are going through at that particular moment and that there is no need to suppress them.

Find a Mentor

This is one of the mental health tips for student-athletes. Sometimes, we only need a blueprint for handling various situations. Therefore, having a mentor will help you have a sense of direction.

At times, the stress of a college athlete emanates from low self-esteem, body dysmorphic, heckling from spectators, and much more. The challenges are intensified by the fact that students are still going through a self-discovery phase.

To handle such challenges as an athlete, you will need a mentor who has experienced challenges similar to yours. Your mentor can be your coach, teacher, or a sports person you look up to.

It is best to find a mentor who was also a student-athlete at some point so that they can relate to what you are going through. Getting advice from someone with similar experiences can be comforting, and you will understand what you are going through is not an isolated case.

Take Charge of Your Social Media Accounts

Social media can build or ruin your athletic career; therefore, you need to be more vigilant about creating a safe space on social media. A chemistry practical class cannot be dissected online, but a big tournament can be televised, making it open to public scrutiny.

As much as you may not control what people post and engage with on social media, you can create a safe space for yourself by controlling the content you engage with. Furthermore, utilize tools that help promote your privacy. Some of the ways you can enhance privacy in your account so that strangers cannot weigh in include:

  • Change the account settings to private so only your close friends can view and engage with your posts.
  • Block or unfollow any account that leaves negative comments.
  • Limiting your screen time to ensure you spend less time scrolling through comments or content that might be discouraging.
  • Turn off your notifications so you can only log into your account when you want.
  • Take note of the applications and posts that give you motivation and those that leave you stressed.

You don’t need validation from strangers online; therefore, you need to be confident about your potential in the sport you love. You should learn how to create boundaries between you and other social media users.

Embrace Your Weaknesses

People often think that college athletes have everything figured out. However, this is not the case; just like other students, student-athletes are also in a self-discovery phase.

Therefore, you should not live by the notion that people have of college athletes; instead, allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them instead of beating yourself up.

As a college student, you are still growing and bound to make mistakes, so do not be afraid to face your weaknesses.

Trying to live by the societal norms on how student-athletes should behave can result in unnecessary tension and depression if one fails to live up to them. To keep yourself in check, you should often remind yourself it is your life and that it is okay to be uncertain about the future.

Therefore, as you enjoy the sports you love, do not miss out on the self-discovery phase since it will give you a clear outlook of the path you should take on and off the field.

Acknowledging your weaknesses helps you become a better sportsperson and student since you will find ways to rectify the blunders.

End Note

Student-athletes deal with the burden of performing well on and off the field. Such pressures often lead to a hefty dose of stress, as students must balance their academic, athletic, and personal lives.

It is easy for people to assume that college athletes excelling in class and on the field have it all figured out, and thus, most people forget to check up on them.

However, many don’t understand that the dual responsibilities come with a lot of pressure that can sometimes damage one’s mental wellness.

Additionally, the uncertainty of one’s career can sometimes lead to anxiety. Therefore, there is a need for student-athletes to prioritize their mental health to improve their performance.

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