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Valor Eagle Eye

Valor Eagle Eye

Valor Eagle Eye

The Mental Side of Sports

Navigating the Pressure
In the fast-paced world of high school sports, where the spotlight often shines on physical prowess, competition, and team triumphs, there’s a silent player that deserves attention beyond the cheering crowds. Beyond the field, athletes grapple with mental battles that may not be evident to the casual observer. Astonishingly, data reveals that around 35% of athletes face mental health crises, predominantly in the form of anxiety and depression.
We had the chance to chat with Valor Christian’s starting pitcher, Athan Koll, about the mental toll sports take. “It’s definitely difficult. Balancing school and sports can be tough, but through practice and preparation, I’ve gotten a lot better at it.”
To shed light on the professional perspective, we consulted licensed sports psychology and mental health counselor Brooke Ewert. Anxiety tops the list, often intertwined with the nerves that accompany high-stakes competitions. The second challenge is mood downturns, encompassing depression and a lack of motivation to return to sports after setbacks like injuries.
Mrs. Ewert, drawing from years of experience, delves into the intricate layers of athletes’ mental strain. “There’s a lot of self-doubt, fear of failure, fear of not being successful. Our goal is to help athletes figure out where these negative thoughts originate and address their biggest fears about success.”
It’s not merely the act of playing sports that affects athletes; it’s also the aftermath, especially injuries, that can deeply wound their mental well-being. Huart acknowledges the difficulty athletes face when injured, losing a significant part of their identity.
Valor Christian athletes share insights into overcoming these mental challenges emphasizing the importance of visualization and pre-game routines. Seeking professional help and engaging in open conversations with teammates and coaches are crucial steps recommended by both.
Understanding mental health in sports serves as a reminder that the impact extends beyond the scoreboard. It’s about nurturing not just physical prowess but also the mental fortitude that defines these athletes. Understanding the critical role mental health plays in sports is key to fostering a supportive environment for young athletes.

Watch the story and interviews here:


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About the Contributor
Brigham Brown
Brigham Brown is a Junior at Valor Christian High School. He plays baseball for Valor and his summer travel team. He likes being a part of Valor Media because it gives him the opportunity to interact with certain people about interesting topics and make stories out of those interactions.
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