Mental Health Challenges

The National Alliance for Youth Sports is aware that mental health challenges in sports are an extremely sensitive topic for coaches and parents of young athletes, regardless of the age or gender of the players. Here are some startling statistics you should be aware of as a coach of youth sports:

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder occurs in an estimated 3 to 5 percent of school-age children, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

  • Approximately one in 200 children are diagnosed with Tourette syndrome, and boys are roughly four times more likely to have it than girls.

  • Approximately 11 percent of 13- to 18-year-olds are affected by a depressive disorder.

  • More than 10 million Americans have bipolar disorder.

  • Approximately 1 in 68 children has an autism spectrum disorder.

  • Most children are diagnosed with Asperger’s between the ages of 5 and 9.

  • Approximately 20 percent of Americans will suffer from panic attacks at some point in their lives.

  • It is estimated that at least six kids in a program of 300 have obsessive compulsive disorder.

  • About 7 to 8 percent of people will have post-traumatic stress disorder at some point in their lives.

  • Social anxiety disorder occurs before the age of 10 about 35 percent of the time.

Because this is such an important subject, we have created an optional coaching children with mental health challenges training course for NAYS Coaches to supplement the information they received during their training.

For members

NAYS Coach

This new program is completely free to any NAYS Coach and can be added to your existing membership.

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We also recommend you check out the autism-society.org, parentcenterhub.org, nimh.nih.gov and nami.org websites for further information regarding mental health challenges in youth sports.