Athletes wrestle with mental health too

In addition to the physical preparation that athletes address in training, mental health is a big part of how they perform. 

A clear recent example of these pressures is Iowa Hawkeyes Quarterback Spencer Petras. 

According to the article Iowa Football, 85 percent of Iowa fans want the backup quarterback for Iowa to start over Petras, because of his performance the last three games. 

The first game they struggled to get the offense going and only scored 7 points. He received a lot of mean tweets and people talking about how he should not start the next game.

Iowa chose to start him against Iowa State. The Hawkeyes were barely beaten, and again Spencer received a lot of hate and negative words after losing to the Cyclones. 

This hate for Petras has come from fans who don’t even play sports. 

Senior Cayden Schellhorn can relate. 

“Mental health is hard to overcome in sports. I had an experience at the Drake Relays in track and field, and I fell short,” Schellhorn said. “I got 2nd place by .04 seconds and lost by another athlete diving across the finish line. After the race I looked up in the stands and saw my little sister crying because she believed in me so much and wanted me to succeed so badly. That hits hard and is hard to mentally get right after that.” 

Shellhorn added, “When you are having a bad day, it makes performing in your sport harder. Having things in the back of your mind distracts you from your goals in your sports and makes it harder to accomplish them.”

Mental health is very important in sports because small things can greatly affect the way you play or perform.

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