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Student Athlete Mental Health

Addison Rose, a second-year student at Palomar, is a distance runner for the Palomar College track and field team.

The pandemic has made it hard for all students, but student athletes have been hit the hardest. Not being able to practice without the full guidance of coaches and being around teammates has taken a mental toll on them.

“During the pandemic, training without direct contact with my coach and teammates has been a little challenging, but we’ve found ways to get through it,” Rose said in an email. “Me and a few athletes were able to meet last fall on our own to get harder workouts done together. Our coach also guides us and can monitor our runs and workouts on an app called Strava, which is made specifically for runners, bikers, etc.”

Although it is tough for the student athletes to practice from home, they are doing their part to help get through this faster.

Regular students have had issues trying to handle distance learning and have found it hard to stay motivated, and student athletes are no exception.

“The most difficult thing about training and online learning specifically has been creating and maintaining my own schedule in a way that is productive, but not overwhelming,” Rose said. “When we were on campus, I would commute to the school and be there all day, for multiple classes and then practice. My day was laid out conveniently for me. Now, I have to find the time and motivation to get all the learning and training done myself, which is slightly harder.”

Rose has found herself feeling mentally burnt out and most days it feels like a repeat of the previous day.

At the beginning of lockdown, Rose had a big hurdle to overcome. She dealt with back-to-back ankle injuries. Then she was hit with a cancelled season.

“Not only that, but we were in complete lockdown at that time. It was extremely frustrating for me to be injured and not be able to do the one thing, run/workout outdoors, that I could have actually been allowed to do at that time. Looking back on it now, I realize I am a way stronger athlete than I was then, and I needed that break to reset anyway!” she said.

Rose uses small victories to help her mentally. She tries to remind herself that everyone has had to change how they live and that everyone has had set backs due to the pandemic.

“To anyone who is struggling- I would tell them that they’re not alone and this will not last forever. One day, hopefully soon, we will be able to look back on this in hindsight and realize how much we’ve grown. For now, hang in there and don’t put too much pressure on yourself! And never be afraid to ask for help, whether that be from teachers, coaches, advisors, etc.”

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