About the mental health of young athletes!

The  sports  context  was  no  exception  in  the  impact  that  the  coronavirus  pandemic  had on  human  beings  and  social  and  professional  contexts.

Throughout  these  months  we started  by  promoting  social  distance  to  promote  physical  distance,  use  of  masks  and disinfectant  with  alcohol.  However,  hesitations,  doubts  and  uncertainties  about  the future  continue,  especially  with  regard  to  youth  football,  where  competition  has  not  yet returned,  and  training  is  very  conditioned  and  limited.

I  would  be lying if  I  said  that  I  am  not  concerned  with  the mental health of young athletes because  they  adapt  very  well  to  adversity.  It  is  true  that  they  adapt;  it  is  true  that  they have  characteristics  of  resilience  and  tenacity  that  many  other  young  people  do  not have,  they  also  have  big  dreams  and  will,  goals  and  prospects  for  the  future  that  they can  hold  to  keep  their  work  at  home  and  help  them  overcome  the  obstacles  inherent  in this  virus,  but  it  also  depends  on  each  one,  each  athlete  is  an  athlete,  and  once  they compete  again  in,  many  of  them  will  feel  great  motivation  and  excitement,  but  many will  experience  levels  of  stress  and  anxiety  never  experienced  before,  along  with frustration  and  negative  emotions  that  will  generate  difficulties  in  performance  and  so on,  like  a  snowball.

The  concerns  are  not  only  related  to  mental  health  when  returning  to  competitions,  but also  to  mental  health  in  the  social  aspects  inherent  to  age  and  the  practice  of  physical exercise.  We  must  not  forget  the  function  that  clubs  and  sport  have  in  society,  causing many  young  people  with  disruptive  life  trajectories  to  have  a  different  and  more adaptive  trajectory.

It  is  therefore  important  to  follow  some  recommendations,  in  order  to  prevent  the worst  scenarios:

  • Accepting –  accepting  emotions,  allowing  yourself  to  feel  them  realizing  that  is expected  to  feel  anxiety,  frustration,  fear  or    Having changes in sleep mood or appetite is also part.
  • Socializing –  don’t  lose  contact  with  colleagues,  friends,  coaches  and  family,  new technologies  are  very  useful  at  this    You  can  share  your  experience  and  your strategies  for  dealing  with  this  moment.  It  is  important  to  foster  a  sense  of  belonging  to the  team.
  • Focus –  keep  in  mind  your  goal,  organize  your  daily  routines  and  focus  on  the  present and  turn  difficulties  into
  • Exercise –  maintain  the  practice  of  frequent  physical  exercise,  adapt  and  acquire training

In  cases  of  difficulty,  start  or  continue  working  with  a  sports  psychologist,  who  will  assist and  give  appropriate  strategies  to  you.

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With a degree in Psychology, Diana has a master in Clinical Psychology. Currently she is getting a specialization in Sports Psychology by InsPsic having already experience in professional football clubs such as FC Porto and CD Feirense.

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