Simone Biles sparks conversation on East Texas athletes’ mental health

Local Sports

TYLER, Texas (KETK)- Olympic Gymnast Simone Biles is sparking a discussion about mental health for athlete’s after her decision to pull out of the Olympic Women’s Gymnastics team.

Biles said she is choosing to prioritize her mental health above athletic pursuits.

This Olympic news also has some East Texas football coaches thinking about how to tackle the topic with their team.

“Certainly mental health is one of those issues, and they all have my number. Call me directly and we’ll get you the necessary help,” said Texas College Head Football Coach Greg Ellis.

Athletes put a lot of pressure on winning big. They also compare themselves to other players or competitors.

“As an athlete a lot of times you are kind of bred to just suck it up and keep going, so we have to be careful and pay attention to those context clues that may not be always verbalized,” added Ellis.

East Texas coaches also said they want to ensure their players are both physically and mentally strong.

“A lot of the game is played shoulders down, but there’s so much of it that goes into your mindset,” said Tyler Legacy Head Football Coach Joe Willis.

He said his relationship with his team goes beyond just coach and player, and he is there for them on and off the field.

According to experts, an important part of making sure a student athlete’s mental health is taken care of is building trust with them.

“When players know that you love and care about them, they can come to you with just about anything,” said Van ISD Head football Coach, Jared Moffatt

Mental Health experts also shared the following advice:

  • Athletes should always aim to eat well and get proper sleep
  • Unwind with friends or another hobby to take their mind off the game
  • Limit social media use

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