Depression and anxiety is common in sports just as it is in the rest of the population. A certain level of stress before a game can help the athlete perform better. The issue is when that stress hinders performance.
Depression and anxiety presents differently in sports than in everyday life which makes it challenging to identify. Coaches, trainers and other medical staff need to recognize and address athletes who start struggling and ask questions. Do you get too much or too little sleep? Do you feel excited when you succeed? Are you feeling hopeless or depressed? Do you still enjoy playing the sport? Do you feel you are letting yourself and/or your family down?
The best way to help athletes who may be struggling with depression and anxiety is to have open dialogues about mental health and let the athletes know that they have full support from all. This will allow them the courage to discuss their struggles.