The Student News Site of Bellevue East High School

The Tom Tom

The Student News Site of Bellevue East High School

The Tom Tom

The Student News Site of Bellevue East High School

The Tom Tom

Mental health affects athletes

Lucy Cook
Getting the ball! During the game against Lincoln Southwest High School at Bellevue East on Jan. 27, junior Kris Brown heads to the basket to score. After a long battle, Bellevue East lost 55-28. “It feels good, trying to compete to win and doing my part in the team,” Brown said.

Everyone has had a moment when they just needed a break from school, work, or even life. Students at Bellevue East find themselves looking for ways to relieve the stress that comes with being in high school; for many that relief comes from involvement in sports. Most know that sports are a great outlet for physical fitness; however, there are several other benefits to participating in sports. Mental health, for example, is a key component of a person’s overall well-being. 

For senior Japanese exchange student, Sara Nishitani, joining cheer leading was a way for her to meet new people and decompress from the daily pressures of life. Also, it has been a good way for her to take her mind off of schoolwork. 

 “I recently started cheer leading and it is fun,” Nishitani said. “I like to play sports as a relaxation.” 

An important aspect of mental health is having strong social connections. Being a part of a team can influence strong bonds between individuals. Having a support system is crucial for anyone, however, as an exchange student, making friends is especially important for Nishitani. 

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“I did not know anyone, so when I came here the first time it was so hard to make friends,” said Nishitani. 

Having a good outlet where physical, social, and emotional health are being positively impacted is more important than students might realize. Teens across the U.S. struggle with their self-esteem, which can lead to serious mental illnesses. Confidence is essential for a variety of reasons. According to The Sport Journal, participation in sports can develop a person’s respect for their body, as well as, for others. Many teens struggle with their self-esteem and it plays a significant role in their mental health. 

“Being part of a group and being part of a team also helps with the social aspect of mental health, and it can help boost your confidence,” psychology instructor Shane Peterson, said.

With how common a mental health issue depression is, it is not hard to understand why it is known as “the common cold of psychology.” According to Mental Health America, 2.5 million of America’s youth experience depression at some point in their lives. Although several factors must be considered for the cause of depression, professionals highly recommend physical activity to promote better health outcomes. 

“So I think having that brain break and just escaping reality, or even if there is stuff going on at home, or school, the idea of just doing something that maybe takes your mind off of it can be very beneficial,” Peterson said. 

Sports, or any other physical activity, can have a profound impact on a student’s mental health. As mental health is becoming more of a priority in schools and modern culture, in general, it is important to understand how students can better manage the daily stresses of life. 

“When I have stress, from learning and stuff, if I feel upset, sports help me to calm down,” Nishitani said. 

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About the Contributors
Mariyah Johnston, Reporter
Hello! I’m Mariyah, a reporter for the Tom Tom. I love learning new things and meeting new people when I can!
Lucy Cook, Co-editor in Chief
Hello, my name is Lucy, and I’m the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Tom Tom. I’m a manager for both football and boys’ basketball teams. In my free time, I like to listen to music, dance, and watch shows, such as Falling Into Your Smile and Bad Buddy. I raise 4 chickens in my backyard.

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