Adolescent Athletes Who Participate in Individual Endurance Sports Face More Anxiety, Fatigue and Mobility Difficulties Compared to Peers in Team Sports

Wednesday, July 15, 2020




Robin Waxenberg                                              Honey Hamilton
Robin Waxenberg & Associates                         NATA                                 
917-301-1350                                                     972-532-8812



July 15, 2020




DALLAS, TX – New research found that adolescent athletes who participate in individual endurance sports reported more psychosocial challenges such as physical function mobility difficulties, higher anxiety symptoms and more fatigue than their team sport peers. Psychosocial Characteristics of High School Endurance Athletes Compared to Team Sport is being presented today as part of the 2020 NATA Virtual Clinical Symposia & AT Expo educational programming, which transitioned to a virtual event in light of COVID-19. The study abstract will be published in the Journal of Athletic Training, the scientific journal of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, later this year.

“It is more important than ever to understand the mental and physical pressure that athletes are facing as they start to return to their sport. In our research, we found that endurance athletes have elevated challenges physically and mentally compared to their team sport peers,” said Olivia May, LAT, ATC, OTC, Certified Athletic Training Resident, Pediatric Sports Medicine at Children’s Hospital Colorado. “It’s critical that student athletes have compassionate health care professionals onsite that understand the unique challenges of their sport to reduce their risk of injury and mental health concerns.”

The study consisted of 89 student athletes, where 33% defined their primary sport as an endurance sport (cross country, swimming) and 67% defined their primary sport as a team sport (basketball, soccer, baseball, softball). The two groups spent a similar amount of time participating in sports per week. A similar proportion of both groups reported a history of time loss orthopedic injuries such as stress fractures and concussion.

Participants completed the athlete burnout questionnaire (ABQ), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) score, and Pediatric PROMIS 25, which included the physical function mobility, anxiety, depressive symptoms, fatigue, peer relationships, pain interference, and pain intensity domains. They compared endurance and team sport athletes on measures of demographics, medical/injury history, and psychosocial characteristics using independent samples t-tests, Mann Whitney U tests, and Fisher’s exact test.

About NATA: National Athletic Trainers’ Association – Health Care for Life & Sport

Athletic trainers are health care professionals who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and sport-related illnesses. They prevent and treat chronic musculoskeletal injuries from sports, physical and occupational activity, and provide immediate care for acute injuries. Athletic trainers offer a continuum of care that is unparalleled in health care. The National Athletic Trainers' Association represents and supports 45,000 members of the athletic training profession.  Visit for more information.