TJ Winter Sports Take on Stress


Jorge Rodriguez, Senior, Captain Varsity Wrestling

Brenda Ramirez, Writer

Governor Thomas Johnson High School students are experiencing stress as a result of Covid and the winter reason. Student athletes are also experiencing this type of stress on a different level. TJ student athletes were asked questions related to how they and their teammates deal with stress. A study done by Oklahoma Wesleyan University says, “These student athletes go through so much and us as fans, parents, etc., we never know what goes on in their head before a game.”

Ben Pearch, Senior, Captain of Boys Basketball (Brenda Ramirez)

Star basketball player senior Ben Perch has played for TJ basketball for all 4 years of high school. With a competitive nature of basketball players stress is sure to be there. Ben was asked “How do you support your teammates when you notice them being stressed?” He responded, “Just tell them that you got their back you know explain to them that you are here for them no matter what you know at the end of the day you guys are brothers and teammates so letting them know that hey I’m here for you and that I’m going to have your back no matter what no matter the outcome no matter what happens always seems to help.”

Ben Perch’s response proves that just talking to your teammates, asking them questions on how you can help and being there for them, reminds them that you will always be there for them as brothers and teammates.

For the second interview our star senior wrestler KJ Price was asked, “What do you do to calm your nerves before a

KJ Price, Senior, Varsity Wrestling Captain (Brenda Ramirez)

match?” Here is how KJ Price prepares himself for a match. “Either I’m listening to music or I’m just taking in the area’s atmosphere. The majority of the time I try to get words of wisdom from my teammates. I kinda started it as a joke like words of encouragement but I just like to take one word that will motivate me and I just go on the mat or when I’m warming up I kinda just treat it as any other match. I’ve done this before I’ve been through this so it’s just another match.”

KJ’s response also shows how music helps him prepare himself for a big or small match. He says how he started it as a joke to ask his teammates for words of wisdom but later he finds out how it truly helped him and just giving him a single word can take him a long way in a match. He says it helps get motivated to win his matches.

Lyndsey Brown, Senior, Captain Girls Swim Team (Brenda Ramirez)

The last TJ student athlete interviewed, Lyndsey Brown, is a senior as well as Captain for the girls swim team. Lyndsey was asked, “as a captain, how do you help the team when you notice them being stressed before a meet?”

“Well before a meet we just, especially the girls, we just hype them up, we talk about you know what everyone is swimming and just try to make it as fun as we have spirit days on the days of our meets just to make it fun to take their mind off all the stress that comes with competing,” says Lyndsey.

As a captain she thinks of fun activities to do throughout the school day to take the girls mind off it before a meet. She also is saying how just asking the girls how they feel and what their events are helps them take their minds off it. It helps the girls relax for a bit and express how they feel about this upcoming event.

Sports psychologists speak on how they work with these student athletes with the mental stress they go through before a match to eliminate everything and focus on performing well. Other ways sports psychologists work on is positive self- talk, relaxation and life skills planning. As the winter season has started students say they are much more stressed during the winter season. They say they rely on their winter sport because these sports will get them scholarships to college. There is also a downside to these winter sports some athletes go through tough injuries which cause them to see most things negatively and lose themselves in a way. A Oklahoma University study on how injuries for student athletes affects them psychologically states, “Some athletes go through a grieving period after injury, feeling that they have lost a huge part of their “self,” which can lead to negative beliefs and thought. Which can cause them to be into a deep depression and a higher level of stress.

In the end, Jorge Rodriguez says, “it’s up to the student athlete to decide to keep going or find their own way in life.”