Sports support mental health and helps students achieve goals


Christian feels free from stress when he plays soccer

Javier Tinoco, Reporter

SPORTS can affect people in many ways. There can be many negative affects sports can have on an athlete’s mental health. On the other hand, there are many positive effects that sports can have on mental health. 

Johnathan Gonzalez (12) knows that he must play his best if he wants to secure his spot on the team. “Wanting to compete and wanting to be a top club player makes you wonder if you are good enough, because if you are not willing to compete, most of your teammates are not going to want you on their team. If there’s a lot of players in your position and you aren’t fighting for that spot, chances are you aren’t going to get your spot. Another thing is trying to improve, a lot of the time you don’t see how much you have really improved so that makes it harder to keep going,” he said.

“You can put so many negative thoughts in your head and then you don’t really know what to do. It makes it so hard to quit when you have been playing this sport for so long. It’s a hobby to you so it’s hard to let go. There is a positive side, you can meet the greatest people and make so many memories with these people. You gain experience going through obstacles and overcoming those obstacles. The people that you meet can really change your life. They change you for the better,” Gonzalez said.

Christian Vera (10) says that when he steps on the field, he realizes that all his stress and problems go away. “When I play a good game, I feel like I have accomplished something, and I have made my parents proud. I work hard to get a good game, because having a bad game can really affect someone. It makes you feel dead and like a disgrace. During the game you’re going to make mistakes and it hurts, but you gotta know how to move on,” he said.

“When I was younger, I didn’t really take soccer seriously because I was so big and could hardly run. This year I am taking soccer more seriously. I went from playing in one of the lowest divisions in the state and have jumped up to P1(The highest level there is in Utah). I didn’t see the potential I had, and now I am bringing everything out that I have in me. I am happy with that,” Vera said.

Tyler Stockstill is a Granger High boys soccer coach. “There are a lot of positive benefits from sports including mental health. From a physical standpoint we know that sports help release endorphins and makes us feel better about ourselves. Depending on what sport you are playing, whether it’s an individual sport or a team sport. Individual sports give you the opportunity to set goals for yourself and continue to work hard and always be better than they were the day before,” he said.

“With team sports a big benefit is the collaboration that you have to put forward to win as a team and do well together and have a good performance on the field, along with your team and then again with that goal to work hard and get better every single day both individually and within the team,” Stockstill said.

“There are potential consequences with playing sports that we should all try to avoid. The pressures that come with performance anxiety, pressure from parents or coaches, scared of not making the team or not playing well. Those are important things that we must keep in mind and must know how to communicate and discuss with coaches to develop a strategy to get better,” he said.