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It’s easy for adults to forget what it was like being a teen. Often we hear others talking about how they miss ‘the good old days” back in highschool when they didn’t have serious responsibilities and that they miss the free time they had to hang out with friends and do the things they loved. However, when we put the pieces together — the organizations our children are involved with and the responsibilities teenagers do have — it occurs to us that things weren’t always as easy as we remember them. Your children play sports with us at KOA, they have homework to attend to, SAT and college preparation, and the various other clubs they are likely involved in to compete in the rigorous venture towards college acceptance. It is important to remember that, for them, these responsibilities are as important as our jobs and other adult responsibilities are to us.

At KOA, we don’t want our athletes to feel that playing with us is a responsibility. Rather, sports at KOA should be fun and rewarding, allowing these young athletes to socialize while also learning skills, the importance of teamwork and a respectable attitude. But we also realize that there are days when playing with us does feel like a responsibility. Maybe they are stressed because they didn’t do as well as they had hoped they would on the SAT, or are feeling sad due to issues with friends or bullies at school. At times like these, some teenagers may feel hopeless — like they just want to neglect their other responsibilities and obligations because they have lost motivation. Teens and children often don’t have the resilience that most adults have had time to develop. Events that we may see as minor may seem devastating to them.

Sometimes you may find that your teen is having a particularly difficult time dealing with the issues they are facing, whether in school or socially. At KOA we want all of our athletes to be happy and have a healthy mind, which is why we recommend teen counseling in Columbia MD in situations like these. To have the peace of mind necessary to focus on KOA sports and schoolwork, some teens need someone to talk issues through with. Our experienced Columbia MD teen counselors are well equipped to help them handle what comes.

Few things feel as patronizing to teens as not being taken seriously. We should all take care to pay attention to the mental health of teenagers do the best we can to support them. At KOA we believe that a healthy mind makes a healthy athlete.

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