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PANDEMIC HEALTH: Effects of COVID-19 on the mental health of student-athletes.

Updated: Mar 26, 2022

Regular participation in exercise and athletics is one way that students can maintain and improve their mental wellness. Sports help distract the mind from negativity, and with all of today's uncertainties, they provide structure, inclusion, and a sense of normalcy for student-athletes in local communities.


Exercising and training in sports helps student-athletes to connect socially and allow others to reach out and support one another. It allows them to meet the basic need of social stimulus in a safer and monitored environment. It also allows teammates to be positive influences on each other.


Self-awareness is a key point in athletics as it aids a person's ability to visualize and improve their performance. This same skill also makes it easier for them to recognize when there is a change in themselves, or if what they are feeling and experiencing is not considered normal for them, or #healthy.


As students participate in regular exercise and #athletics, they can maintain and improve their mental health. But what happens when a #pandemic halts organized sports participation?


It's important for student-athletes to keep a schedule and routine. They should continue to stay active and try to keep as close to a "traditional" schedule as possible.


For example, if an athlete normally practices after school, he or she should try to work out during that same time frame.


When organized sports do return, it's important that these student-athletes not try to just jump right back into activity, especially if they haven't stayed active. Returning to activity safely may mean slowly. Jumping in too quickly can lead to injury, burnout, or quitting out of frustration from how much more difficult it is compared to before. Too much too soon can lead to a steep decline in motivation, instead of building slowly with tangible goals.


If you know of a student-athlete who is struggling with the lack of organized sports, don't be afraid to reach out for help. Athletic trainers at the local schools are a great resource for student-athletes, whether they're struggling physically or mentally.


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