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CHKD to tackle mental wellness in young athletes

Did you know that 70% of kids drop out of sports by age 13?

NORFOLK, Va. — CHKD's medical director of the sports medicine program, Dr. Joel Brenner, says there's no question playing youth sports has its benefits for children.

"They learn about teamwork, they learn about leadership skills, they can learn about dealing with adversity when there are wins and when there are losses."

In his CHKD blog, "Building Mental Wellness, Boosting Sports Performance," Brenner shares his disappointment over the statistic: an estimated 70 percent of kids drop out of sports by the age of 13.

He cautions parents to be on the lookout for signs of stress, anxiety and burnout.

"If stress is not recognized early, it can lead to anxiety. It can lead to depression. It can lead to burnout in sports where kids just do not want to participate in sports."

CHKD and the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame will take a deeper look at mental wellness in young athletes in a forum later this month.

Brenner will join former professional and collegiate athletes to discuss the warning signs of pressure, anxiety and stress in youth sports.

Panelists include two-time Major League Baseball All-Star and Chesapeake native Michael Cuddyer, former JMU star running back and Virginia Beach native Eugene Holloman and 13-year-old competitive dancer Jada Waters.

The forum will take place on March 11 at the Chartway Arena Big Blue Room in Norfolk from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 4320 Hampton Blvd. 

Click here to register.

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