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The Off Season: The Importance of Mental Health for Athletes

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BLUEFIELD, W.Va (WVVA)- The pandemic has brought discussions of mental helth to the forefront, and athletes are no exception.

The repetitiveness of training, playing games, and starting all over again the next week can take its toll on athletes. Concord Women's Basketball Coach Kenny Osborne has been keeping an open door this season when it comes to talking to his players.

You know it's tough on them," said Osborne. "I think it's really detrimental to the college student whether it's an athlete or non-athlete."

The Behavioral Health Pavilion of the Virginias has offered ways for it to be at least a little bit less detrimental. Jeffry Gee, Chairman of Psychiatry at the Behavioral Health Pavilion, understands the struggles that athletes are going through.

It's a challenge to maintain a positive attitude with things like this going on," Gee said. "You got to remain hopeful, that this is going to end and out you're going to have a season you going to be able to participate in sports. So it's no fun not being able to play and not being able to do what you want to do. It's also a good opportunity to kind of focus a little more on what you'd like to be able to do."

But even with these struggles, Gee believes that athletes may be more equip to deal with mental health issues than the average person.

"Athletes are pretty good about getting focused and setting goals and working to attain them. You may need to juggle your goals a little bit, but if you have some more time to practice maybe you can work on getting a little bit better than you were."


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