How SWHS Student Athletes Manage Mental Health

How+SWHS+Student+Athletes+Manage+Mental+Health

Izabella McKenna

Student-athletes have to deal with 5-day a week practices and sometimes practice on the weekends, homework, AP classes, honors classes, projects, team drama, away games until 8-9 pm and so much more. Two SWHS athletes have expressed how they have been staying on top of their game this season and give ways you can stay on top of your game too. 

¨I try to avoid the things and people that are affecting my mental health in a negative way, I also try to think of the good things and the positives. A new face to the high school, freshman volleyball player Angelina Mundo said.

¨All you can do is put yourself first and focus on yourself. Realize what and who is affecting your mental health negatively and think of what you can do to fix that. Whether it is talking to the person affecting you, talking to someone who can help you, or avoiding the things and people who are affecting you, It can be a tremendous help.¨ 

Varsity field hockey player and a new face to the high school, freshman Paige Lambert says it’s important to focus on now. ¨I make sure I have someone to talk to. This helps me not get too stressed or not feel overwhelmed. Usually, I’ll talk to my best friend who is really good at giving advice.¨ Lambert said. 

¨Don’t internalize everything. I have a friend who is currently struggling with mental health and the best advice I have given her is to tell us what’s happening. If she needs help she knows she can come to us. I feel like it’s important to find your person (or people) who you can talk to.¨

With a Ph.D. in sports medicine, Author Emma Vickers elaborates on how student-athletes are subject to a lot of pressure when it comes to academic and athletic lifestyles. ¨Student-athletes are often subjected to a substantial amount of pressure, having to successfully balance their academic studies with their sporting commitments. According to Vickers, ¨This greater level of stress experienced by student-athletes may in part be due to the decreased amount of time that they are warranted to complete the increased responsibilities placed upon them.¨

Doing the constant back and forth from school to sports 5 days a week affects how the student participates in school and sports. 70% of the time athletes are so focused on practice and games that they end up stressing themselves out, not giving their all into the sport or schoolwork and end up being consumed by stress and anxiety. For student-athletes it’s extremely important to have a person to talk to about anything. 

“I think it is hard for athletes to speak up in environments that don’t encourage it,” According to Imani Boyette, a rookie for the WNBA’s Chicago Sky said. “Athletes are seen as elite, as if they have it all, and society often categorizes mental illness as weakness. Therefore, it is often hard to speak up about it.”