Protect young athletes. Lifestyle mentoring NOW.

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I recently wrote a blog post titled "drop out or burn out" emphasising the pressures young athletes experience.  The reaction to this blog post has blown my mind - with many many athletes coming forward saying this is exactly why they have dropped out of playing sport at an "elite level". WHY is this happening? WHY are so many young athletes putting their mental health at risk in order to perform?  I am on a mission to change this. I want to pressure sporting national bodies to change the way they approach lifestyle mentoring for young athletes - starting with England Hockey.  I am in the process of composing a letter that I will send to England Hockey, highlighting the issues that I, and apparently many others, are experiencing, and why this needs to change.  I think lifestyle mentoring, focusing on how to manage all the expectations that comes with being a young athlete, is essential as soon as an athlete enters the system.  I dropped out of the England hockey system because it was putting too much pressure on me, negatively impacting my mental health.  I am not alone in this.  And I am sure there are hundreds of young athletes feeling the same way across all sports nationwide.  Young athletes should not feel alone and unable to talk about the pressures they are experiencing.  Please please sign this if you personally, or if you know of someone, who has felt overwhelmed and under-supported due to sporting pressures - if the pressure put on you as an athlete has led to poorer mental health.  You don't have to have played hockey, or represented your country.  Whatever level, whatever sport, please help me make change.