Beyond the Sport event shines light on importance of mental health for athletes

Beyond the Sport Event aims to shine a light on athletes’ mental health and explore what it means to be an athlete.

On Thursday, May 9 at 6-7:30 p.m., the Waterloo Career center plans to host a free event to help uncover the mental health struggles athletes face as they continue to pursue their goals. At the event, Joanna Rahnavandi and her service dog Mocha will share their journey as an athlete as well as their struggles. 

Although physical health is focused on more when talking about sports, mental health is important too. When athletes allow their mental health to worsen it can often lead to decisions that can affect their game performance. Mental health is also important for everyday life too, as it can affect your mood and how you act.   

Student athletes often have to balance school work and their sport, and when not managed properly can cause major anxiety. As well as the need to have balance, student athletes can also feel pressured to do more, which can be a good thing; however, the pressure to do more can be a very slippery slope into an unhealthy place. 

Jacob Mueller, an assistant football coach and a counselor at the high school, said,  “I don’t think those times are often addressed. Coaches are doing their thing. Parents are doing their thing, and sometimes the mental well being of a student athlete can go disregarded, so I think it’s good to bring it to light and talk about it.” 

If you are unsure about going to the event, or you feel you aren’t as interested in the mental health aspect of it, athletes such as Lance Runyon, a UNI wrestler will be there who will be available to talk to about other aspects of student athletes or just living life as an athlete. 

For more information about the event visit the schoology post here,

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