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Saturday, October 1, 2022
Home Health Stress Management for Female Athletes

Stress Management for Female Athletes

Dr. David Baron joins us to discuss the importance of stress management for female athletes and what can be done to slow down the rate of tragedies. 2022 has been an unthinkably sad year for NCAA athletes. Lauren Bernett, a 20-year-old softball star from James Madison University, killed herself a few weeks ago. Her suicide follows Sarah Shulze, a cross-country athlete at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and 22-year-old Stanford soccer captain Katie Meyer who took her own life in early March.

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If you are the parent of a student athlete you should be aware of both the upsides of youth sports but also of the pressures they face. Young kids can be pushed too hard, they burn out and there are even instances of cyberbulling. The joy and fun can be taken out of youth sports in pursuit of a good college and scholarships.

“The suicide rates amongst NCAA female athletes are both heartbreaking and unacceptable. All athletic programs must treat the mental well-being of their athletes as they would the physical well-being of their athletes,” explains Dr. Baron.

What Can Parents Do?

How can parents support their student athletes? Dr. Baron says to show support and be engaged. Ask your kids if they are having fun? Did they have a good practice? Praise them for their progress, not just when they are winning.

Ask yourself, “What can I do to make this a more enjoyable experience for my child.” Don’t talk to the coach about playing time. Support your athlete from afar with a positive attitude and make sure there is a safe, confidential place to get help if it is needed.

Talking to Student Athletes

Dr. Baron recently met with student-athletes from the University of Oregon to discuss mental health in athletes. There’s no denying the stress balancing athletics, academics, and a personal life puts on athletes.

“Modern athletes have modern problems. Research is showing factors like a global pandemic, social media, and financial stress all play a role,” explains Dr. Baron

  • Growing public support for sports mental health is crucial to fixing the problem
  • There is an incredible amount of pressure and anxiety on college athletes, and they must have resources to help them manage that stress.

Dr Baron, DO, MSEd.

Professor at Western University of Health Sciences. Director of Center of Behavioral Health and Sport

International Society of Sport Psychology


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