USSSA volunteer coach Marty Garcia of Wauconda believes that youth depression, which is a growing international concern, can be curbed through healthy sports involvement. He encourages adults to volunteer and gets youth involved in programs like the USSSA as a healthy outlet that instills lasting positive values.
According to a recent study, there is over two million youth in America who suffer frequently from symptoms of depression.1 While there are many psychological and environmental factors involved, providing youth with a healthy outlet where they can be active and social is what Marty Garcia of Wauconda believes is the answer.
“Sports require a lot of physical activity, which has been scientifically proven to help ease symptoms of depression,” says Marty Garcia of Wauconda. “Getting kids involved in sports programs like the USSSA should be a priority of parents and adults everywhere.”
High-intensity exercise has a physical reaction in our bodies. Through activity, our bodies release endorphins that help ease the pain, tension, and stress. From this, nerve cells can grow and form new connections which will ultimately improve brain function and how we feel overall.
“There is evidence to suggest that the addition of cognitive-behavioral therapies, specifically exercise, can improve treatment outcomes for many patients,” says the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. “Exercise is a behavioral intervention that has shown great promise in alleviating symptoms of depression.”2
Depression is caused by a number of factors, but many believe that the internet and social media are some of the root causes in youth. Kids today can access these outlets anytime from smartphones and computers, and the trend of being online for most the day continues to rise each year. While information and connections to other youth can be great components to a healthy lifestyle, these things in excess may give youth feelings of stress, anxiety, or some other negative impact.
Marty Garcia of Wauconda works against these negative symptoms by giving youth an alternate outlet to spend their free time. Associations like the USSSA instill lasting values through sports engagement in addition to camaraderie and physical activity. With their help, kids can have fun with other youth, learn how to compete with good sportsmanship, compete in a safe environment with respectful peers, and grow as individuals.
“Youth involved in USSSA programs receive solidarity, respect, and support from their team. says Marty Garcia of Wauconda. “Building healthy friendships through sports involvement can help youth lose the need for social media and cut down on excess browsing time.”
Marty Garcia of Wauconda and other USSSA volunteers serve as coaches, sponsors, mentors, and fans who support their local team each game. As Mr. Garcia believes, providing youth with a positive environment to compete in friendly competitions and build lasting relationships may be the ultimate tool for curing depression after all.