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Depression is a mood disorder that involves a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest.

Downloadable Parent Toolkit Includes:

  • What is depression in teens?

  • Teen stressor

  • Symptoms

  • Depression on the field

  • Communication and Support Strategies

  • Resources

We hope you find this toolkit helpful in understanding and managing these mental health issues that could affect your young soccer player.

Note: Always consult your healthcare provider for a diagnosis and treatment plan tailored to your individual needs. This information should not be used for diagnosing or treating health problem or disease; anyone seeking personal medical advice should consult with a licensed professional.



Kick Depression Off the Pitch: A Parent's Guide to Supporting Their Young Athlete

Hello Soccer Parents! We all eagerly anticipate those vibrant weekends on the sidelines, cheering on our young athletes, sharing their joys, and comforting them in their disappointments. Soccer teaches them teamwork, dedication, and perseverance. But off the field, there's another challenge we need to be vigilant about: depression.

Soccer is usually a source of joy and excitement for our young athletes, but what happens when the thrill of scoring a goal or making a great play doesn't bring the happiness it used to? Depression can be a formidable opponent, one that doesn't just go away after the final whistle.

Imagine noticing that your child, once passionate about every match and practice, now seems distant. Maybe they're not lacing up with the same enthusiasm or they appear disengaged during play. The thrill of a goal or the camaraderie with teammates doesn't light them up like before.

Whispers among other parents:

  • "Have you noticed Alex has been off lately?"

  • "I heard they've been skipping team gatherings."

  • "They used to be all about soccer, but now it's different."

This change isn't about losing interest in soccer. It might be indicative of depression, a mental health challenge that goes beyond mere teenage mood swings.



  1. Withdrawal: Pulling away from the game they once loved or distancing from teammates.

  2. Prolonged Sadness: Not the usual upset of a lost match, but a consistent downcast demeanor.

  3. Fatigue: Expressing constant tiredness, even if they're resting well.

  4. Shift in Performance: A sudden change not attributed to physical health or training.

Empowering Your Young Athlete:

  1. Open Dialogue: Foster an environment where they feel comfortable sharing their feelings without judgment.

  2. Encourage Social Connections: Gently encourage them to spend time with friends or teammates outside of soccer.

  3. Seek Professional Support: If you suspect depression, consider reaching out to a counselor or therapist who can offer specialized guidance.

Being a Supportive Sideline Champion:

  1. Educate Yourself: Understanding depression helps in recognizing and addressing it effectively.

  2. Stay Engaged: Even simple acts like a post-game chat can help them feel supported.

  3. Collaborate with Coaches: Share your observations and work together for the well-being of your child.


If signs of depression persist or if your child mentions feelings of hopelessness or worse, consult a mental health professional as soon as possible. You wouldn't ignore a physical injury; treat mental health with the same urgency.


Remember, parents, you're the lifelong coaches and cheerleaders for your young athletes. Depression is a tough opponent, but with the right strategies and possibly professional help, it's one they don't have to face alone. In the grand game of life, understanding and addressing depression is crucial. As the primary cheerleaders in our children's lives, let's ensure we equip them with the support they need, both on and off the soccer field.

Navigating adolescence can be challenging, but with awareness and love, we can help our young athletes find their joy, in soccer and beyond. 

Let's keep an eye on not just our kids' soccer skills but also their mental well-being, ensuring they're fit to face challenges both on and off the field.


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