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A 57″, Junior in high school, taking three AP classes, class president, all league soccer player, who is hospitalized due to high blood pressure and seizures. The senior quarterback, with tons of friends, granted a full ride scholarship to USC, and has to decline and quit football because of four F’s in his classes. A sophomore basketball player, who’s already being scouted by Division 1 schools, taking six challenging classes, and on crutches for the whole season because she continued to play basketball with a twisted ankle and an injured knee.

How can such a frightening situation be taking place in these young adults lives? This awful and increasingly problematic scene is happening all over the world, all for the same reasons (Bowen). With social stress, the desire to be popular, academic pressure with the hopes of going to a four year university, and the difficult transition into adulthood, young student athletes must also balance the complicated challenge to be the best in their specialized sport, deal with unnerving parents and coaches, and the constant fear of failing, and some cannot handle it all (Mansfield). Playing sports three seasons per year can bring a lot of physical and mental stress, specially between balancing teachers, parents and coaches. Maintaining a 4. 0 and staying active on a sports team often leads to late nights and a lot of pressure on my body, and a big struggle to push through it all! ” says Emma Stanfield, a sophomore at Sonoma Valley High who plays varsity volleyball, JV basketball, and varsity track, while also taking two AP classes.

The older an athlete becomes, the more pressure is put on them to succeed and the less time they have to learn new material and thrive. From a very young age, parents put extreme amounts of stress on their children to strive and outplay their competitors (Remmer). There have been a colossal amount of incidents witnessed of a parent screaming at their young and inexperienced child because they are not shooting the correct way, running fast enough, or giving 110%. Frank Smoll, a professor of sports psychology calls this: “Frustrated Jock Syndrome”.

Frustrated Jock Syndrome is when parents live through their own child’s triumphs to reminisce on the glory years of their own sport or to remember what success and the competitive energy feels like, but usually results in damaging the parent-child relationship (Remmer). Some children have formed a need-to-please connection with heir parents, which could conclude in more severe problems later in life. In addition to the parents who are sitting in the bleachers, young athletes also must deal with their own coaches pushing them.

There is a fine line between having a skillful and kindhearted coach who wants his/her players to play their best, and a coach who has an “only winning will be acceptable” attitude and cares more about a trophy than the players. Coaches and parents are the two main people a player should be able to go to for advice, help, and any problems, but if that bond is broken, the young athlete is on the road of no return. By age thirteen, 70% of young athletes will quit their specialized sports, with the top three reasons being adults, coaches, and parents (Weisenberger).

Another deciding factor that an athlete faces is other players, whether it be competing against one’s own team to be number one, or going head-to- players to push harder and harder to be the best, which is why 62% of sports-related injuries take place at practice (Weisenberger). Despite all of these pressure-filled people in an athlete’s life, one of the most intimidating and nerveracking stages of an athlete’s career is college and scholarships. Depending on the age and skill-level of the player, full-ride athletic scholarships become more of a reality everyday (Mansfield).

The frightening truth is that only 2% of high school athletes get full-ride athletic scholarships every year, which many players fail to recognize (7-Athletic Scholarships). With the potential of being recruited toa Division 1 team and attending a four-year university, some student athletes have difficulties deciding which subject to focus on: their sport, which they need to be excellent at to be given a scholarship, or schoolwork, working hard to achieve the necessary GPA to be llowed into a good, academic college. “Get up. Eat. Go to school. Go to practice. Go home. Do homework. Eat. Sleep.

Repeat. With playing sports all year round, it never ends, and student athletes are all very familiar with the word ‘stress”, quotes Sami Von Gober, a three-sport superstar with a superb grade point average, who knows firsthand the difficulties of dealing with everything a teenage athlete has to handle. Although athletics and staying active are necessary in certain children’s lives, overdoing sports and exercise can lead to serious complications. Many athletes have heard it before; “School comes first”, Homework before sports”, and “If you are too stressed out, you can miss a practice. But with the threat of missing a game if one misses a practice, or extra conditioning drills if a player is late, many young athletes would choose to dismiss a homework assignment rather than miss an extra hour of athletic coaching to help them excel in their sport. Student athletes have a loss of focus in classes due to thinking about their sport. Will they start the next game? How does that one play go again? Is practice going to be hard tonight? These are the kinds of questions running through n athlete’s head while they should be focusing on math equations or science vocabulary.

Another problem that is increasing in young athletes is sleep deprivation, which can be hazardous to a child’s health, ability to play their sport correctly, and attentiveness in class. Lack of sleep can lead to hallucinations, paranoia, and disorientation, to name a few (Mansfield). The minimum sleep required in young adults is seven and-a-half to eight and-a-half hours, but according to a research done by Dr. Maas, an international consultant on sleep for over four decades and a teacher t Cornell University, high school athletes are getting only five to six hours of sleep per night.

Although they may not show immediate signs of health concern, athletes may start exhibiting drowsiness, quick irritability, anxiety, depression, or weight gain/ loss (Pavlov). Studies have shown that stress alone can result in asthma, heart problems, obesity, diabetes, depression, gastrointestinal problems, and accelerated aging. But even if a student athlete is getting eight hours of sleep, eats a healthy, balanced diet, and claims to feel no stress or pressure, there is still a one-fourth hance they could wind up in the ER with a broken or fractured bone, overstressed muscle, or worse.

More than 3. 5 million kids between five and fourteen receive medical attention for sports injuries every year, and over 300,000 high school athletes day, and one to two games per week, and repetitive motion of bones and muscles is correlated with sports injury. Although stretching, good gear (shoes, ankle braces, etc. ), and being careful are all preventative measures, injury is always a possibility. Many people recognize the demands placed on student athletes and offer a ariety of choices that can lower the pressure and reduce stress put on them and their bodies.

One option a young athlete has that might help reduce stress level is talking to his/her mom, dad, or coach – especially if they have “Frustrated Jock Syndrome”. The athlete could also visit a therapist to discuss what they are feeling during school, sports, and their home and social life. More drastic measures a student athlete could take are switching into less complicated classes where there is less homework, focusing on one, maybe two, sports if an athlete is participating in hree or more competitive sports, or even taking a leave of absence from their designated sport to give the student time to adjust.

But not all young athletes have over-bearing parents, three AP classes, and a hard-to-manage body; many students put pressure on themselves, with doing anything to be popular at school, feeling out of place in their own skin, and mentally beating themselves up with every missed shot, turnover, or dropped catch. Although these specific kids might not be struggling with deranged parents or coaches or have daunting classes, they still deserve ttention and help for their struggles. Young athletes have more and more pressure layered on with every intense game, different technique they must master, and the need for college scholarships

What is Your Assessment of the View that Downtown Toronto is Undergoing a Major Physical/Structural Transformation Towards “Manhattanization” of both its Skyline and Use?

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