Student athletes have some of the busiest schedules on any campus. On top of their sports, athletes still have classes to attend, school work to finish and jobs to work. Their hectic, busy lives usually leave them with very few hours to relax and relieve the stress that builds up over the weeks.
Many people wonder how athletes find ways to relieve stress from their absurd schedule. But what many people may not know is that their athletic training is the answer to their crazed lives. Athletes often use their sports as a way to escape from the stresses of life situations off the playing field.
“Shooting the ball as hard as I possibly can is the best way for me to let go of some stress,” said freshman soccer player Christine Najjar
For other athletes, their sport acts as an emotional stress reliever tool.
“No matter if a practice or game is good or bad, I am still doing something that I’ve always loved doing,” said sophomore baseball player Keanan Locke. “Doing something that is consistently awesome in my life is a stress reliever in itself.”
Sports can be used as a place where athletes find peace. It can be a place where they feel most joy and strength in their lives.
“When I’m at practice, it’s practice time, and nothing else matters at that point,” said sophomore sprinter Crystal Barber.
Barber uses the track arena as another world that separates her from everything that is going on outside of her sport.
When engaging in physical activity, it is proven that endorphins are immediately released. These endorphins are usually related to the feeling a runner gets when they experience a “runner’s high.” When endorphins are released, it causes athletes to experience joy, feeling as if they can perform for a long period of time.
“They are located in your brain and spinal cord and act as analgesics, which diminish the body’s perception of pain,” said junior exercise science major Antonio Turner.
After a successful workout, someone’s outlook on life may become much more positive; that is due to the action of endorphins.
Stress can be relieved by athletics in a way that can be broken down scientifically. But for many who don’t know how the body uses endorphins, it is all in their mentality and how they perceive their sport.
“I use pads to my advantage to hit people and release aggression,” said junior football player Ty Billie, a junior wide receiver for the football team. “There’s always a positive energy when I am encouraged after a job well done that helps me forget about any negatives outside of football.”
Sports act as stress relief in different ways for different athletes. Some use it physically, while others use it emotionally. From the outside looking in, athletics may seem like another burden that one carries. However, for many athletes, it is actually a way of getting away and letting go.
Jordan Phillips is a contributing writer to The Aviso AVW.