Many pressure points for student athletes today


Addison Kania

Pressure. That’s what a lot of student athletes face everyday, especially when in high school. Whether it’s from school, coaches, parents, or teammates, it’s always going to be there. However, there are many ways to alleviate this pressure which can enhance performance and relieve stress placed on many athletes.

First off, many student athletes face pressure from their classes, especially those who take higher level courses and have to maintain their grades in order to continue playing the sport that they love. With homework and tests looming over them, they can become distracted when game time comes. Yet, by being in constant communication with teachers about work and deadlines and by also doing school work throughout the day, much of the stress from school will be released.

Next, athletes also encounter pressure from their coaches. Again, communication is a key part in getting through this challenge. Having meetings with coaches to talk about what works for them as an athlete is crucial. It is very important that a coach knows how the athlete will respond to different coaching styles because that can set the tone for the rest of the game. When coaches are able to be tough on their players, yet maintain a positive attitude and relationship with players, much improvement can be seen from the team.

Parents also play a key role in the lives of student athletes. They are the ones who often drive their children to the games or are always there to sit and watch them play. While it is great to have this kind of support, it also can affect how an athlete performs. Parents have to be aware of how their words can affect the players as they speak with them about the game. Oftentimes parents can be very hard on their kids when the kid already feels pressure from coaches. It does not help to have a bunch of other people telling them what to do. Parents have to handle the relationship so the kid knows he has their support yet he also feels he can get advice from them when needed.

Lastly, a big source of pressure on student athletes is actually their own teammates. Teammates need to be able to push each other to their limits while also being there to encourage each other so everyone can improve. Having this fun atmosphere brings great performances from all the players and allows them to conquer their mistakes and celebrate their victories all together.

This may not be the situation for all student athletes, but I guarantee most athletes have felt one of these pressures before. When feeling these pressures, make sure to communicate about who or what is causing them so you can feel that you are performing your best. Student athletes should be able to play the sport that they love without feeling overwhelmed by the constant pressures that they face, but when handled properly by everyone involved, those pressures can be managed.