The importance of sports for mental health during Covid

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Roswell High School Varsity Girls soccer goalie Charlee Bernal gets awarded with player of the week. Photo Credit: @roswellsoccer

Ansley Tanner, Editor - News Page

Connection between mental and physical health is stronger than one may think.

Many people assume that exercise only affects the body, however, the body and mind are intertwined: even in sports. 

Flashing back to the time of March 2020 when the world as we knew it changed, the abrupt end to sports brought sadness among many athletes. Seasons were halted for an indefinite period of time.This time of isolation caused many students to not be able to participate in the activity that they love, or make connections with the people on their team. 

Studies have shown that being athletic and playing a sport can significantly improve a student’s mental health. Participating in a school sport can help the student in the classroom as well. Advent Health states, “Sports can help improve your concentration and keep you mentally sharp as you age. Participating in a mix of aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercise for 30 minutes or longer at least three times a week can improve mental abilities, including critical thinking, learning and using good judgment.” Student athletes need to find a balance between school and sports, because while sometimes practice gets in the way of studying, the act of exercise is proven to sharpen the brain. 

Sports also help students outside the classroom in their daily lives. Playing well in a sport can build a person’s self confidence and make them proud of themselves. Health Advent also stated, “As you build your strength, skills and stamina through physical activity, this can also lead to improved self-image in all areas of your life.” Not to mention when a person has a fit body, they are more likely to like what they see in the mirror. A positive body image is extremely important to mental health. 

These mental benefits to playing a sport is why it is so important for athletes to have the ability to do what they love again. Since COVID-19, contact with other people has been limited. However, all Roswell High School sports have taken place so far. To read more about how Roswell sports have been doing in their seasons and accommodating to COVID guidelines, view the attachments at the bottom of this page. 

Some sports that are underway currently are baseball, soccer, track and field, basketball, tennis, golf, and lacrosse. I spoke to a few athletes from these teams and the consensus was unanimous: playing their sport gives athletes a release from stress and they are grateful for their seasons during this pandemic. 

Junior captain of the girls varsity soccer team, Adleigh Wheeler stated, “Playing soccer is a way for me to release pent up stress and not think about my problems or anything else.” Her love of the game has led her team to a so far undefeated season.

Junior Marcus Trevisan on the varsity track and field team said, “Running is a good way to release and have fun with people who you share something in common with. It’s hard to find that anywhere else.” Team comradery is a large factor in playing a sport and it gives students time to spend together that they have missed so much of over quarantine. 

Roswell student athletes are very fortunate to have a season during this time and many students have taken to virtual school in order to preserve their health in the hopes of completing a full season. 

To read more about the beginning of the girl’s soccer season, click here

To read more about the beginning of the varsity baseball season, click here

To read about the conflict of sports and the mind, click here.