How to Manage Stress from Managing School and Sports

How to Manage Stress from Managing School and Sports

Emilia Greco, PaperClip Staff/Writer

A recent study, conducted by Health Psychology Research, HPR, found that of 200 student-athletes, 91% experience some form of stress that comes from managing school and sports.


HPR created an anonymous online survey of 200 student-athletes to measure the correlation between stress and sports. This survey examined males and females throughout a variety of different sports, locations, and ethnicities. 


The purpose of the study was to discover the severity of sports stress in high school athletes. It was also used to understand the different ways athletes deal with the stress that comes with their sport, or the lack thereof, and to determine whether or not the surveyed athletes consider the stress to hurt or improve their playing.


The survey consisted of 10 multiple-choice questions with multiple sections for each. The first question the surveys asked was what sport or sports the athletes played, followed by many questions about their stress in said sports. 


Elizabeth Wentworth, one of Portsmouth High School’s health and gym teachers, suggests that meditation and breathing exercises are some of the best ways to manage school and sports stress. “There are guided meditations specifically for athletes. Breathing exercises, visualization exercises,” she says.

“Don’t compare yourself to what you think you should be doing,” says Joseph Denuzzio, a PHS gym and health teacher. As he looks back on advice he has given student-athletes who come to him with stress resulting from sports, he says that “Time management is a skill that can be developed. Procrastinating only leads to more stress.”

Many students also develop their own ways to deal with stress within managing school and sports. “I try to plan out my homework each day so I know what I have to do and I try to find time throughout the day to work on it. If I do my homework throughout the day then I’m usually less stressed after field hockey practice,” says Sam Ruel, a PHS student-athlete. 

According to the survey conveyed by Health Psychology Research, “Fear of failure and self-pressure were the most common causes of stress. About 27% who were experiencing moderate to extreme stress wanted but did not receive help from a medical professional. However, of all the participants who experienced some level of stress, only 18% believed that receiving help from a medical professional would not be beneficial for them.”

TeenHealth suggests changing your focus from winning to putting in the best effort and having a positive attitude on and off the field.