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PSY FPX 6830 Assessment 3 Working With Diverse Populations


Capella University

PSY FPX 6830 Applied Sport Psychology

Prof. Name


Working With Diverse Populations

Anxiety in Sports: A Comparative Analysis between High School and College Athletes

Anxiety within the realm of sports and competitions can impede athletes from reaching their peak performance levels. Sports psychology emerges as a valuable tool aiding athletes of diverse backgrounds in optimizing their potential. Whether within the confines of a little league organization or amidst the rigorous demands of professional teams, the intertwining of athletes and mental health serves as a catalyst for enhancing athletic prowess. This discussion delves into discerning variances in anxiety levels between high school and college sports contexts, elucidating the pivotal role of sports psychologists across all echelons of competition.

Anxiety Dynamics in High School versus College Sports

Anxiety emerges as a ubiquitous challenge across all levels of athletic competition, warranting the indispensable presence of sports psychologists. Depression often closely trails anxiety, accentuating the significance of addressing mental health concerns in athletes. Notably, high school athletes grapple with the overwhelming pressure to excel, fueled by aspirations of collegiate athletic pursuits, thereby fostering heightened levels of stress and anxiety. Conversely, college athletes, despite their elevated status, confront a myriad of stressors associated with newfound independence, encompassing academic pressures, familial obligations, and personal relationships, which collectively impact both their academic performance and athletic endeavors.

High School Athletes
College Athletes
StressorsPressure to excel, collegiate aspirationsNewfound independence, academic pressures, familial obligations
Impact on PerformanceHeightened levels of stress and anxietyImpacts both academic and athletic endeavors
Gender Disparities and Mental Health

Gender disparities further compound the complexities of anxiety within sports, particularly among college athletes. Research underscores a notable increase in anxiety levels among female college athletes, attributed partly to the tumultuous transitions occurring during the formative years of 18 to 22, coinciding with their collegiate athletic pursuits. Such findings shed light on the nuanced interplay between gender dynamics and mental health challenges, necessitating tailored interventions to address the unique needs of male and female athletes.

Perfectionism and Performance Anxiety

Perfectionism emerges as a salient contributor to anxiety, particularly prevalent among high school athletes striving to meet societal expectations and excel in their respective sports. Notably, male athletes contend with pressure from parental expectations, whereas female athletes grapple with competitive anxieties. This underscores the imperative of cultivating resilience and coping mechanisms tailored to address the multifaceted stressors encountered within the realm of high school athletics.

High School Athletes
PerfectionismMeeting societal expectations, pressure from parents (males), competitive anxieties (females)
Coping MechanismsNeed for resilience cultivation, tailored coping strategies
Best Practices for Mental Wellness Support

Addressing anxiety in athletes mandates a multifaceted approach, encompassing acknowledgment of their emotional struggles, normalization of these feelings, and collaborative formulation of coping strategies. Integration of interdisciplinary teams dedicated to promoting mental wellness emerges as a cornerstone in fostering athlete resilience and performance optimization. Notably, instituting preparticipation mental health screenings and cultivating a supportive environment are pivotal in preempting and addressing mental health concerns among high school athletes.

PSY FPX 6830 Assessment 3 Working With Diverse Populations


In light of the nuanced differences in anxiety dynamics between high school and college athletes, it is imperative to adopt tailored interventions that accommodate the unique stressors encountered at each level of competition. Leveraging best practices in mental wellness support, alongside fostering a culture of openness and resilience, serves as a linchpin in enhancing athlete well-being and performance across all sporting domains.


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Garver, M. J., Gordon, A. M., Philipp, N. M., Huml, M. R., & Wakeman, A. J. (2021). Change-Event Steals “Athlete” from “College Athlete”: Perceived Impact and Depression, Anxiety, and Stress. Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, 14, 1873–1882. [DOI: 10.2147/jmdh.s320243]

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PSY FPX 6830 Assessment 3 Working With Diverse Populations

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