Dec 14, 2020
Mental Health of Student-Athletes At Risk with Sports Suspension

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) recently announced that winter sports championships have been canceled and high-risk sports postponed. The result of these cancelations and postponements are leading to concerns from many in the sports healthcare field about the negative effects on student-athletes’ mental health.

In a report from, Dr. Robery Zayas, executive director of the NYSPHSAA noted how parents and teachers and have noticed changes in student-athletes’ behavior.

mental health
Photo: Wesley Sykes / Great American Media Services

“It’s having an impact upon their motivations,” Zayas said to “It’s drastically changed their lives, and I’m aware of that and that’s the reason we’re working so diligently with our state officials.”

The consequences of COVID-19 on student-athletes include sleep difficulties, a sense of loss, and depression according to an NCAA Student-Athlete COVID-19 Well-being Survey.

Some initial research shows fall sports athletes had fewer cases of COVID-19 than their peers overall — according to the report — something sports psychologists with the University of Rochester believe can be traced to a sense of purpose received from sports.

» ALSO SEE: The Cold Weather Athlete: Avoid Injuries, Keep Playing

“So, I worry about that part, without having something that’s meaningful, that’s goal-oriented for them, I worry about how much are they’re going to as adolescents take the right steps in terms of masking, gathering those types of things in the winter,” Craig Cypher, sports psychologist and certified mental performance consultant at the University of Rochester, said to

Because there are no competitions or practices for student-athletes to record, there is also concern about how this will impact college recruitment, reported.

To read the full story from on the negative effects of sports cancelations on high school student-athletes’ mental health, click here

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