InjureFree Blog

Supporting Youth Athlete's Mental Health - The Benefits of a Simple Check-In

Participating in sports can be one of the best activities for young people. It leads to many incredible outcomes not just now but later in life, too! Alongside the endless physical benefits of participating in sports, it's also a major factor in promoting positive mental health. As parents and volunteer coaches create space to coach athletes on performance, discussing feelings and emotions can be equally supportive. As a coach, having simple, feelings-focused check-ins with my athletes has been a great way to build trust and confidence among the team and each athlete!

Physical activity releases endorphins, the body's natural "happy chemicals," which reduce stress and improve mood. What's more, sports are associated with lower rates of stress, anxiety, and depression - a natural healer! In one study, 75% of parents of youth athletes reported that sports benefited their child's emotional well-being. It's no secret that sports help contribute to happy, healthy, team-oriented athletes. As adult leaders, one of the best things we can do is keep an open door for conversation and give young people the space and power to talk about their feelings. Regular check-ins with athletes are a great way to normalize talking about feelings as a group and individually. 

Electronic sports safety platforms empower parents and volunteer coaches by providing helpful educational resources and even documentation capabilities to record and monitor physical and emotional athlete behaviors. Sometimes, creating space to discuss feelings in sports demonstrates the deep care parents and volunteer coaches have for their athletes and teams. 

If you're interested in learning more, Nationwide Children's offers helpful resources for discussing mental health with children. Click here to read on!


  2. Family Resources & Education. Nationwide Children's Hospital. (n.d.).
  3. Nkillips. (2022, May 11). Mental health in youth sports: Mental health awareness month. The Blueprint - Blue KC.

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