Team sports reduce depression, anxiety issues in youth

Rhys McLenithan, Staff Writer

Mental health problems in youth are reduced from team sports and working as a team, helping youth deal with depression and anxiety. 

Sports are a proven de-stressor. They force athletes to keep their minds in the game and focus on the team and what’s going on around them, instead of whatever might be affecting them outside of the game.

 Studies show that those who participate in team sports, not just individual sports, benefit from a decreased risk of depression and anxiety. 

According to one researcher, “Organized sports participation is associated with a decreased risk of anxiety, depression, feelings of hopelessness, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, illicit drug use and the smoking of tobacco products, above exercise alone.”

Playing in a team sport environment can also teach people how to deal with setbacks and losses, as athletes don’t win every game. Losses can help people understand that, in real life, things don’t always go your way.