In the world we live in today, many people are suffering from mental issues, and this is no exception to elite athletes. The society we live in has a superstitious belief in elite athletes to be some superhero s that wouldn’t be prone to mental issues. However, when it comes to mental health, everyone is prone to it, and many varying factors contribute to the mental problems of human beings.  

Physical problems in sport, such as hard training and injuries, can lead to psychological issues, whether cognitive, emotional, or behavioral. Moreover, like the rest of the population, athletes must cope with personal problems such as relationships and catastrophic life experiences. If not adequately addressed, all of these diverse stresses may impact sports performance, training, job changes, interpersonal relationships, and physical recovery.  

The NCAA promotes healthy mental health and recognizes it as a growing source of concern among elite athletes. This entails promoting mental health and avoiding mental disease rather than simply responding to mental illness once it has occurred. However, it is critical to know the impact of mental diseases on athletic performance so that wellness promotion may be prioritized to minimize these consequences. 

Despite the numerous benefits of exercise and athletics for mental health, such as self-confidence, connectivity, social support, and positive self-esteem, student-athletes face a unique set of stresses associated with mental illness. Academic stress, extended playing seasons, coaching pressure to win, the commercialization of college athletics, injuries, identity defined by athletic performance, and body weight standards are just a few examples. Furthermore, researchers discovered that student-athletes underuse mental health treatments for various reasons, including continuing negative stigmas associated with mental illness.  

Mental health issues have varying effects on athletic performance depending on the individual and the specific mental health condition. On the other hand, mental health issues have been shown to have a significant influence on sports performance. Athletic performance is influenced by stress, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, trauma, drug abuse, and the loss of relationships. 

Academic, athletic, social, and spiritual achievement all depend on an athlete’s emotional well-being. Untreated mental health issues cause needless pain, a loss of good effect, and a lack of balance in life. With adequate therapy, most psychological illnesses among elite athletes heal and disappear.  

Throughout their sports careers, elite athletes confront a particular set of pressures. Because top athletes function in extremely varied environmental and social situations, any of these stresses can contribute to mental illness in an individual. Listed below are some high contributors to mental illness. 

  1. Stress 

A professional sports career might involve over 640 stresses, which can lead to prevalent mental diseases. Even if mental illness existed previous to participation in sports, it might be exacerbated when players are exposed to the pressures associated with competitive athletics. 

  1. Anxiety 

Anxiety in athletes may be both beneficial and detrimental. Anxiety symptoms might be viewed as a performance enhancer by elite athletes. However, excessive competition anxiety may have negative effects such as impaired performance. 

  1. Overtraining 

The overtraining syndrome (OTS) is when the human body tries to cope with physiological and other stressors such as physical training, sleep deprivation, exposure to environmental stimuli, professional demands, relocation, and interpersonal problems. OTS symptoms, such as exhaustion, sleeplessness, hunger changes, weight loss, lack of desire, and attention issues, might be difficult to distinguish from depression.