It’s Time to Tackle the Mental Health Crisis of Student Athletes

Holston Academy’s Personalized Instruction Reduces Burnout  

Lancaster, CA – (May 22, 2024) – Student athletes across America are experiencing burnout at alarming rates. Many undergo rigorous athletic training along with heavy school workloads, leaving little to no time for social activities, down-time and most importantly, sleep. The overworked student athlete culture was once revered, and jam-packed schedules and stress were like badges of honor. But studies have shown an increase in depression, anxiety and suicidal attempts amongst teen athletes. They face unique pressures that impact their ability to thrive in traditional school environments while actively pursuing their passion for sports.

A 2023 survey revealed that approximately 91 percent of high school athletes experienced some level of stress due to their sport, with 58 percent reporting a moderate to an extreme amount of stress1.Student athletes are suffering, and school leaders are failing to examine the relationship between student exhaustion and its effects on mental health.

Not only are high school mental health resources limited, but for athletes, mental health carries a stigma of weakness. “Student athletes are meant to be pillars of strength within their schools and communities. Athletes are not usually encouraged to speak out about how taxing school can be on top of their daily athletic passions,” says Paul Niemand, previous student athlete, veteran educator and academic coach at Holston Academy, an accredited online school for 6-12th grade.

The average athlete begins their day between 5:30 – 6 a.m. and typically ends it after 11 p.m. Exhausting right? “Our solution for athlete burnout is to identify the needs of the student athlete and their family, and create a personalized, flexible education plan so the student can pursue their athletic passion and their educational goals,” says Niemand. “Our athletes don’t have the bandwidth to perform their best in traditional school. Personalized instruction with a flexible schedule is a must.”

Online schools can be a great option for student athletes struggling with the stress of a full plate. They can provide more flexibility and work around training schedules. In addition to flexibility, students at an online school like Holston Academy are supported by a team of academic advisors who provide socio-emotional support and life skills along with academic lessons to develop critical thinking.

Holston Academy teaches students how to advocate for their needs whether it’s related to mental health or everyday challenges.  The school strives to create a space that is welcoming and empathetic to the individual needs of each student.

Learn more about Holston Academy:

About Holston Academy

Holston Academy is a nonprofit, grades 6-12 Stanza Education Corporation School, accredited by WASC and Cognia. As part of a network of personalized, small learning communities, our mission is to provide an educational experience that equips our students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to excel in an ever-changing world. We see ourselves not only as an online school, but as a community dedicated to nurturing independent thinking, fostering a lifelong love for learning, and shaping responsible global citizens.                                                       


Ann Abajian, VP of Communications
(559) 903-7893
[email protected]

Laura Loughead, Director of Communications
(661) 571-1660

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