In 2015-2016, there were 946 varsity student athletes and close to 3,000 club student athletes enrolled at the University of Michigan. This is a significant population facing unique challenges that other students may not experience. As a student athlete, you are not only expected to perform well academically, but you are subject to high expectations in your sport as well. Balancing these conflicting priorities can result in an increased risk of additional stress.
Whether you are a varsity or club athlete, the unique expectations of an athlete's life on top of everyday student responsibilities can create unforeseen difficulties. It is important for athletes to know these specific challenges that are triggered or exacerbated by their involvement in athletics, and to know what to do about them.
On top of the additional demands being an athlete can have on a student, you are surrounded by a culture of toughness. While the mentality to be tough and forge ahead all challenges in your way may be true in competition, you are not meant to be in competition with your mind. The mind directly impacts the body and performance, so an athlete’s mental health is equally as important as their physical health.
Only 10% of student-athletes with depression or anxiety utilize mental health services. At CAPS, we strive to make seeking mental health help as normative as seeking help for physical health.
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