Athletes focus on mental health during quarantine

Sports

WHEELING. W.Va. (WTRF) – There’s no doubt that being quarantined has placed its struggles on athletes across the nation. 

“You know we were going to go big this year, we’re still going to, once this all settles, I be looking out of the window and you know it looks like a ghost town. I want my life back,” said Mook Zimmerman, Head Coach of the West Virginia Roughriders. 

According to the NCAA Sport Science Institute, “mental health is a part of, not apart from, athlete health.” So how are athletes at every level staying mentally strong during Covid-19? 

“We encourage them to do some kind of working out whether it’s outside for a little bit or the living room. Just try to stay conditioned as best you can but it is tough right now for an athlete. But we are also encouraging our athletes at this point to take a lot of mental reps.” 

Having to stay inside means that athletes are limited on gym equipment and weights. Something that can affect their usual workout routines. But finding the ability to adapt and stay positive is crucial. 

I spoke with athletes from the high school level reaching to the NFL and they all offered the same mindset. Focus on what you can do right now.  

“Watch football, watch what you’re doing. Go back and do things you never had time when you were in school, film study,” said  Elijah Bell, former North Carolina A &T Wide Receiver and Wheeling Native. 

Bell said you have to find the positives through this quarantine. Some athletes have compared their quarantined to being benched due to an injury, something that can lend a valuable lesson.  

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