The Cedar Times
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The Cedar Times

Is The Combo Of Student And Athlete Too Much?

BY ABIGAIL SWANSON — Staff Writer

Image from Wikipedia

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Students across the world are affected by mental health every day. There are various factors that contribute to this: too large of a workload, none-understanding teachers, peer issues, unsafe school environment, lack of support, poor home life, etc. Being a student in of itself is very challenging for some. Imagine what it’s like being a student who has another responsibility on top of school — student athletes.

Student athletes have to face factors of both being a student and being an athlete. This can be extremely overwhelming. Some student athletes at LHS were interviewed to discuss their mental health and how it has been impacted due to their sport.

“Mental health in athletics isn’t talked about nearly enough,” stated a student. This is absolutely correct. According to data shown by athletes for hope, up to 35% of athletes suffer from mental health crises. Not to mention, these athletes mental health led to a crisis due to a lack of good mental health treatment.

Another student explains that she had to quit a sport she once really enjoyed because she would have so much performance anxiety and it became too much. This is extremely common in athletes. Performance anxiety is often stemmed from pressure from family, coaches, peers. Something to help these individuals with performance anxiety is to balance out the pressure with positive reinforcement, sports psychologists say.

What is some positive reinforcement teachers in particular can provide? Teachers and coaches need to have a direct line of communication with each other in regards to said student athletes. It would also be beneficial for teachers to do check-ins with student athletes just to see how they are doing. Student athletes would be appreciative of teachers being more understanding with work especially around game, meet, or match days.

Another student discusses her mental health experience as a student athlete, “I had so much going on inside my head that it eventually became too much and I had to quit a sport I never wanted to quit. If there’s one thing I have learned from my experience, it’s that you can never be selfish for doing the right thing for you.”

As a whole, mental health in general needs to be discussed more. Students athletes across the United States are struggling and in a time of need. We are in a mental health crisis and we all need to be supportive of one another, especially those we already know are struggling.

Happy Mental Health Awareness Month!

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