Summer CSGC Grant Update: Anxiety, Women, and Basketball

2020. 2021. 2022. In the last three years, the word has been out that anxiety disorders are the
most common mental illness in our generation. As a high-achieving student-athlete suffering
from performance anxiety, I experienced over the years the consequences related with the
mismanagement of anxiety which for many athletes kills the dream in the egg. Depending on
the coaches, the organization, the environment, the teammates and, on a wider scale, the sport
culture pressure and anxiety can be induced and stigmatized. As a result, only 10% of athletes
are actually seeking help in situation of need¹ which exacerbates the urgency of addressing this
up roaring issue especially with young women. Based on the report “The Pandemic Impact on
Girls in Sport” produced by a partnership between the Canadian Women & Sport, E-alliance and
Jumpstart Charities, the backlashes of the global pandemic starts to be seen in women’s sports
on the track, on the field and on the court as 25% of them won’t return to their sports.

Statistically, this situation represents 350,000 girls across Canada. Therefore, “Anxiety, Women,
and Basketball” aims to encourage teenage girls to stay in sports, which enables them to reduce
anxiety as well as to gain confidence and leadership skills on/off the court, while raising
awareness about the importance of anxiety management.

This project is an initiative that will take place from mid-July to late August and unfold in three
parts known by the acronym ACE. Acknowledging anxiety. Creating useful resources. Exploring
one’s limits and comfort zone. The first objective is the creation of an explanatory video that will
be shared throughout the social media and promoted by organizations within and beyond the
walls of the basketball community which will raise awareness not only in regards to athletes, but
also to coaches and parents. The latter part of this project consists in giving tools to young
athletes by easing the access to resources and developing achievable goals for female
student-athletes throughout a conference. “Anxiety, Women, and Basketball” would be
accomplished if it can inspire a coach, a parent, or a young girl to adapt their mindset in order to
create an environment both prone to success and healthy behavior towards pressure and
anxiety. Girls can do it. Girls can dream big. The court is theirs.

Finally, I would like to thank the CSGC team and the Workman fund for allowing me to put in place “Anxiety, Women,
and Basketball” in my beloved province Québec.

1  https://sportaide.ca/en/blog/2019/05/04/student-athletes-and-mental-health-an-unknown-reality/#:~:text=T
he%20most%20common%20psychological%20problems,psychological%20changes%20following%20a%
20concussion

– Bianka Dusseault ’23

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