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How Parents Can Support Your Student-Athlete

Your student athlete may seek Sport Psychology services for the same reasons non-student athletes do and/or for reasons unique to student athletes. These reasons can include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Loneliness and/or Homesickness
  • Managing pressure/expectation related to sport
  • Managing relationship with coaches and teammates
  • Academic problems
  • Eating concerns
  • Substance abuse
  • Grief/loss
  • Identity issues


When to suggest to your student athlete to seek mental health services:

  1. Change in mood and/or behavior
  2. Increase in substance use
  3. Decrease in daily functioning, not limited to academic, athletics and/or social functioning more days than not
  4. Withdrawal and/or isolation
  5. Any indirect or direct references to suicide (Call the Counseling Center immediately: 310-506-4210)

*If you are unsure of how to approach a situation, please call the sport psychologist to consult.


Do's and Don'ts of helping your student transition to college/athletics and maintain well being

Adjusting to the world of collegiate athletics can be challenging. Here are some tips on how you and your student can make strides to adjust:

  1. Do establish healthy boundaries: At the collegiate level, student athletes will be seen as and treated as an independent ADULT by faculty, staff and the athletic department. Encourage your student to advocate for themselves!
  2. Don't hover: Respect your athlete's space, both academically and athletically. Don't plan on emailing or making calls to professors and staff unless there is a true emergency.
  3. Do familiarize yourself with resources and encourage your athlete to speak to the appropriate staff member and seek out resources available to them. Please see Get support/Get connected page and Athlete Mental Health and Performance resources page for more information.
  4. Do remind your student athlete of their strengths: Determination, hard work and commitment helped your athlete get on the team. If your student is feeling homesick, discouraged or upset, remind them of their strengths and encourage them to find their niche.
  5. Don't forget to treasure these moments with your student athlete! Supporting your student at the collegiate level can be anxiety-inducing but also exciting!