COVID-19 has been affecting athletes not only mentally but emotionally as well. The pandemic has been affecting athletes. McKinzie Horsley, a sophomore on the women’s swim team has had mental and emotional fatigue. She states she had to overcome adversity with her teammates. She learned how to be a more resilient athlete. “Support, encouragement, and standing in solidarity where are factors that helped them stay mentally strong,” said Horsley.
Trainers are constantly helping athletes at practices and games. According to head athletic trainer at the University of St. Mary, Raeann Bromert, the biggest challenge would be not doing her normal job by treating athletes, but days of testing, meetings, and contact tracing for COVID. She states she is more grateful to have a sports job due to still having some moments in practices together with the team.
According to a May 2020 NCAA survey, one out of ten student athletes had trouble sleeping due to this pandemic, more than one-quarter said they felt sad or lonely, and one out of 12 said it’s hard for them to function daily. Big 10 Commissioner Kevin Warren wanted to make sure mental health was a priority during this tough time for athletes, so he added a free mental health app for all athletes called Calm.
During this pandemic it is not easy for students or athletes. Everyone must help each other and seek positive help during these hard times. Dr. Jeff Mjaanes currently serves as the Director of Intercollegiate and Health Service Sports Medicine and Head Team Physician for Northwestern University. According to Mjannes, athletes are now seeking more mental health, due to the Pandemic. There are higher rates of depression due to isolation from their families and athletic teams.
Anger and resentment can be major factors in how athletes feel about how this pandemic affects their seasons. This is a time of isolation. Usually, athletes spend more time bonding with their team. When they do practice or play together, they can’t even high-five each other to show appreciation.
There are several resources on campus for help during this difficult time. The University provides counseling for students free of charge. It is important to stay mentally and emotionally strong during this challenging time. If you are having difficulties, talk to your coaches, professors, teammates, or counselors on campus.
Kaylin Brown is a senior who is a Digital Communications major at the University of St. Mary. She also plays on the women’s basketball team.