Katie Saxon

Kaylah Reyes

Exploring how the layered dynamics of youth sports including intense pressure and over-training can have lasting mental and physical health consequences and can lead youth to withdraw from sports altogether.

Visualizing the Problem

Sports play an integral part in the lives of athletes, coaches, volunteers, parents, and organizational members because it fosters a sense of community, allowing individuals to reach their fullest potential. Youth are at the heart of these activities, extending beyond physical well-being, contributing significantly to mental and social health and profoundly impacting their development into adulthood. Despite a shared appreciation and love for sports, many individuals shaping their athletic experience tend to forget that it is just a game. Many young athletes wrestle with challenges such as high expectations and intense pressure, over-training, and competitiveness, leading to mental health issues, injuries, and potential withdrawal from sports entirely. 


This project aims to delve into the intricate web of an athlete’s experience within the sports environment, examining the interplay of parental pressures, coaching methods, team dynamics, and the overall health of young athletes. The multifaceted nature of sports environments and underlying human, societal, and developmental issues can influence young athletes positively or negatively and has short- and long-term implications. The goal is to shed light on young athletes’ common challenges and identify crucial intervention points to support their well-being.