Updated: Sep 30
Ohio Wesleyan coaches try to support athletes with mental struggles but are they providing the needed support, information, and resources, or are athletes left to find them on their own?
The transition to college can be stressful for athletes. Managing athletics can overwhelm some student-athletes.
A freshman on the women's soccer team said her transition to college as an athlete has been similar to her high school schedule but balancing academics with soccer was more of a stressor than it had been in high school. Throughout her transition, she said her teammates have been very supportive and have made sure she is adjusting well.
Aniya Johnson, a sophomore on the swim and dive team spoke very highly of her dive coach, Brad Russell.
“In our team meetings as well as in our contracts I guess you could call it, our coaches provide us with things such as counselor resources and academic resources…” she said.
Johnson also mentioned that the coach acts as a mentor to help guide them to excel in both academics and the sport not just physically but also mentally.
“It is important to make sure that you’re in the right mindset with both, so that you can excel in both,” Johnson said.
With the support of her teammates and coaches, Johnson feels as though she is able to easily manage the stressors in her life and have people to go to with the resources she needs.
Coaches need to make sure that athletes are taking care of themselves both mentally and physically.
Field hockey assistant coach Roisin Dougherty gave the inside scoop on how they work to prepare their players and help support their mental health needs.
“We give them two mental health days to start, so basically if someone one is having a really tough day and practice just isn’t going to be beneficial or they don't think they can handle it they can just take a mental health day,” Dougherty said.
The field hockey team is coming off of a strong year last year after winning the North Coast Athletic Conference and seem to be back better than ever. The energy these girls have during a game is electric and the coaches work to create an environment where they feel safe on and off the field.