When it comes to playing a team sport, doctors say the benefits are many. “We do know that being involved in athletics can actually help manage depression and anxiety and to a degree even ADHD and academic performance,” said Dr. Rolando Gonzalez, a pediatric psychiatrist with Lee Health.
Dr. Gonzalez says uncontrolled anxiety related to the sport can actually limit an athlete’s performance and increase their risk for injuries. “The biggest concern is, am I going to get this illness, and what are the team and the organization doing to make sure I’m safe as an athlete? Other things the athlete might struggle with is the worry and the nervousness of being around teammates again,” he said.
And a common worry he hears is kids fearing they won’t have the same level of skills they had before COVID-19. “Focusing on certain skills and your conditioning, focusing on the process of your skills rather than the outcomes. Right now focusing on those outcomes is just going to undermine your performance and turn this relationship into a more anxiety-provoking one,” Dr. Gonzalez said.
While the anxiety to return to sports is normal, doctors encourage athletes to set realistic goals, spend time with their teammates outside of practice, and focus on their strengths in the sport.
View More Health Matters video segments at LeeHealth.org/Healthmatters/ Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health – Caring People. Inspiring Care. Visit LeeHealth.org