Shadow Ridge Athletes: Mentally Strong

Lena Harris, Journalist

Hard working XC team! (Courtesy of Maya Garay)

Being an athlete comes with some serious commitment and it can also be very stressful. Mental crisis, eating disorders, burnout, and even depression are all common in student athletes. Despite the pressure, being an athlete can have many benefits. 

Maya Garay, sophomore in cross country and track, says, “Being a student athlete, although being time-consuming, greatly affects my health in a positive way. It keeps me on track and teaches me to juggle more than one activity in my life. Even though I’m usually always busy, I know what to prioritize and how to better manage my time.” 

Balancing school and athletics sets me up for success in the real world.

— Isabella Zane

A busy schedule can seem crazy at times, but learning how to balance and emphasize important events can set students up for success in real life situations and the workplace. According to ‘Taylor Counseling Group’, sports anxiety is the immense pressure to perform in athletics, and it can make athletes tense, causing them to bring out negative emotions and expectations. Sports anxiety can come from physical and psychological demands, as well as other stressors such as school and relationship issues. 

Karissa Murdoch, a sophomore in girl’s hockey states, “Being a student athlete has both positive and negative effects on my mental health, in a positive aspect it gives me a space to release stress, be myself, and have fun, on the negative side it is very time consuming and can take time away from me that I use for my homework and social life.”

Athletes often find themselves using their personal time to work harder and achieve their goals. Making a set schedule can help balance things out. There can be a lot of pressure put on athletes to perform their best, but doing that while thinking about other things can seem unachievable.

Isabella Zane, sophomore on the flag football team explains, “Being a student athlete is hard but worth the time. You not only work inside of school, but outside as well. This sometimes takes up my weekends and when the season starts I have found myself going to bed at 1 in the morning because of homework as an honors and AP student. At times it can be really difficult to push through but it is all worth it. Is it easy? No, but is staying up doing homework in trade for a sport I love worth it? Absolutely. I wouldn’t trade anything in the world for flag football.”

Many athletes have tactics in order to complete what they need to do while improving in their sport. Most agree that working through what is causing the stress and remembering why these things are important motivates them, and that keeping a reminder of why this sport is so special in life can keep the inspiration flowing.