A Mental Mistake Many Athletes Make

So for this weeks blog I decided to write about athletes, again. One of my teammates from my old club wrote this for one of her classes and posted it on twitter.  Her name is Jenny Riemer and played for Elon’s women’s soccer team.  I found every word of it true and I thought I write my take on it . Jenny was and still is a very dedicated athlete and someone I looked up to so much which I was younger. She did just graduate so having her speak about this in female athletes I think is going to help other athletes. She also spent four years playing a sport at division one level, so I found this relevant to myself and what I go through.

One of the things she says within the article is the difference between a baseball player and some one who plays baseball. My take on this is someone who just plays baseball is someone who doesn’t play this game with heart, yes they maybe very competitive but this doesn’t mean that they truly love the game.  They are athletes also but when you look at a baseball player it is a whole different ball game, no pun intended. A baseball player or any sports player is a individual who “eats, sleeps, and breathes the sport” and I agree with Jenny on this. I personally think this person never goes a day without thinking about the sport or when they are going to miss a practice, game, lift, conditioning you name it are extremely devastated and feel like they are disappointing the coach, team, and parents.

That gets to the whole point of the piece. Jenny talks about how mental health and how it doesn’t exactly translate within the athletic community.   “The CDC describes mental health as “an important part of overall health and well-being. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act,” said by Riemer. I’d have to agree with her on this because there is more to mental health than when people think it is just depression or anxiety. Also as a female athlete I know how hard it is to not want to let anyone down and I know from a fact that drains you mentally. Soccer is a sport that many people think is “easy”. Okay, can you run on average 9 miles a game, pass a ball while sprinting to help the next pass immediately, or can you tackle someone who is maybe 2 times your size and still remain on your feet? You have so many more responsibilities than just cheering on the team. If you don’t play, you have to remain positive even though you think you’re a good player, but if you don’t remain positive this idea of you’re not good enough attacks your brain and makes you want to quit or even stop working for your spot back. If you’re exhausted and feel like giving up, from person experience taking a few days off is  important. Self-care and reflecting on why you are playing the sport will help you realize why you’re doing what you’re doing. Feeling upset, stressed, angry, or fatigued is okay and taking the time to replenish your body is okay too. You shouldn’t push your body physically and mentally to a point where you break down. Like Jenny says, “Your life is on your terms, don’t let anyone else prevent you from taking care of yourself and putting yourself first.”


One Reply to “A Mental Mistake Many Athletes Make”

  1. This is really interesting. I think in our society, we idolize athletes and put so much pressure on them to always perform at the best of their physical ability. We never seem to realize that A. sometimes people have days where they just aren’t on top of their game and B. It can be so tough to keep up a reputation of being a strong athlete. I think in the athletic community, too, there is not enough discussion or awareness about mental health and the importance of it. I think that this lack of discussion is very present in the athletic community much more than any other kind of community. Our society expects athletes to be the strongest people we produce and we never take the time to talk about how bad all of that pressure can be.

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