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Professional Tennis Player

THE PRESSURE & DEMANDS FACED BY YOUNG ATHLETES: Identifying the Signs of a struggling Teenager.


young teenager contemplating life


Identifying signs of a teenager struggling for external validation and feeling excessive pressure is crucial for timely support. Here are key indicators to look out for:


1. Overemphasis on Performance:

The teen might be overly concerned about grades, sports results, or other measurable outcomes, expressing extreme disappointment or distress over small setbacks or failures.


2. Constant Need for Approval:

They may frequently seek reassurance from parents, coaches, or peers, and appear overly sensitive to criticism or feedback.


3. Social Media Obsession:

Excessive preoccupation with social media, such as constantly checking for likes, comments, or validation from peers online, can indicate a reliance on external validation.


4. Withdrawal from Activities:

A sudden lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities, especially when these activities do not bring immediate recognition or success.


5. Changes in Behavior or Mood:

 Noticeable shifts in mood, increased irritability, anxiety, or signs of depression can be red flags. These might stem from the pressure of living up to external expectations.


6. Perfectionism: 

Setting unrealistically high standards for themselves and experiencing significant stress or anxiety over achieving these standards.


7. Physical Symptoms: 

Stress can manifest physically, leading to symptoms like headaches, stomachaches, changes in eating habits, or sleep disturbances.


8. Avoidance of Challenges: 

Avoiding new challenges or opportunities due to fear of failure or not meeting external standards.


9. Overcommitting:

Constantly taking on too many activities or responsibilities in an attempt to impress others or prove their worth.


10. Comparison with Peers: 

Frequently comparing themselves unfavorably to peers, focusing on others’ achievements or recognition.


It’s important to approach these signs with understanding and support. Engaging in open, non-judgmental conversations can help teenagers feel safe to express their concerns. Encouraging intrinsic motivation, self-compassion, and resilience can be beneficial in shifting their focus from external validation to internal growth and self-acceptance. If the signs are persistent or severe, please reach out and book a free discovery call, where I will offer any advice I can. I also run an 8 week one-one program online to help teens overcome the pressure and demands of both sports & life. 




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