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The Stresses of Collegiate Athletics

            Most students who graduate high school go on to continue their education at a College or University. Students who are talented enough also play at sport at their college. With the overwhelming workload that student athletes face in college, along with their commitment to sports can cause an immense amount of stress in their life. Stress is an emotional or mental strain put on the body and mind from demanding circumstances. As opposed to the traditional college student, student athletes have more pressure on them. About 400,000 student athletes participate in athletic games each year, and thousands receive scholarships to do so (Stern). Setting aside the stress that every student already faces when transitioning from high school to college, being a collegiate athlete on top of that just makes it more difficult. .
             Stress is so powerful, it can become the sole thing that can cause an athlete to quit their sport, causing them to lose their scholarship or even drop out of school. Several occasions an athlete's performance is negatively affected by the stress that is put on them. Being relied on heavily by their school, parents' expectations to succeed in school, and by coaches and teammates to perform well in their sport, can be too much on a student athlete. All the stress that the students face also has proven to be very unhealthy. Most people also do not realize that student athletes in college have a greater risk of depression and anxiety. Many physical and mental health concerns raise due to the pressure that student athletes are under. Health concerns such as: chronic headaches/migraines, sleep deprivation, muscle fatigue, physical exhaustion and digestive problems. "Stress has been found to be positively related to the severity of chronic illness, and studies have found there is a major decrease in the immune system" (Rawson). Due to a recent study, "Over 10% of college athletes suffer from psychological and physiological problems that are severe enough to require counseling intervention" (Horng Lu, 225-226).

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