Hockey’s popularity has shot tremendously in recent years, with the most popular league being the NHL. Unlike sports like basketball and soccer, hockey is a unique sport that comes in over 20 variations where some are more popular compared to others. Different types of hockey also have varying popularity in different parts of the world. For instance, Ice Hockey is very popular in countries like the U.S.A., Canada, Finland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia.
Another type is Ice Sledge Hockey which is reserved for athletes with varying forms of lower body disability, and Bandy hockey, popularly referred to as Russian hockey. As the name suggests, the latter is popular in Russia and Sweden, although it originates from England. Due to the sport’s meteoric rise, it has also become popular among avid bettors. So when many people are playing fun slots on Uptown Pokies, a good number are trying their luck with different hockey matches on reputable sports betting sites.
In countries like the United States, many college students have gotten hockey scholarships. Students that enjoy the sport have gone on to play the game in college leagues, with the very best being drafted to play pro hockey after school. Like other student-athletes, balancing school life, social life, and sports might prove challenging.
If you have some difficulty in this area, here are some tips to help you have a more balanced life and maintain better mental health.
- Take good care of your physical wellbeing
Caring for your body is among the best ways to maintain good mental health. Frequent exercise, regardless of intensity, plays a significant role. Even 15 minutes daily exercise sessions will trigger your body to release endorphins responsible for uplifting the mood.
Being active also helps you sleep better and sharpens your concentration. Fortunately, you probably already lead a generally active lifestyle as an athlete. It is important to remember that when people are physically ill, their mental health also suffers negatively.
Another aspect of taking care of your body is eating the right foods. Although you are already physically fit, the food going into your body will impact your mental health.
For instance, if you are over-indulging in food high in processed sugars, your susceptibility to mental issues and diseases heightens. A poor diet will also affect your performance as a hockey player and contribute to conditions like addictive disorders and depression.
Another way to care for your body is to limit your alcohol intake if you are of legal age and in university or college. You also want to stay away from recreational drugs like marijuana. As an athlete who is partying every few days and drinking alcohol as often, you are bound to suffer burnout.
Alcohol is a known depressant; thus, it may further deteriorate your mental health. If you are already having difficulty balancing hockey and studies, too much drinking will worsen the situation.
- Avoid taking everything too seriously
It is no secret that schools can be very demanding for regular students, leave alone student-athletes. However, this shouldn’t be a reason to take everything with utmost seriousness. Playing hockey and studying is very important because they will probably determine the career paths you choose. So, it is understandable to strive to excel in these areas. However, it is crucial to put everything into perspective and avoid being overly stressed.
Doing so enables you to realize that although these two are very important, there is more to life. You’ll also see that the essential thing is to put your best effort into hockey and academics. As long as you are putting your best foot forward, you’ll be able to maintain good performance and have better mental health rather than when striving for perfection.
- Take a break
It is crucial to take a break every once in a while to avoid burning out. Burnouts typically occur when you’re severely exhausted, both mentally and physically. When you start feeling isolated, lonely, depressed, or manic, that is your cue. Even if the negative emotions are not extreme or debilitating, it might still be good to go for that weekend camping trip.
Talk to your coach and professors if you find it challenging to take some time away because of upcoming tournaments and schoolwork. Meanwhile, you can use the available breaks to detach from daily responsibilities for a while. Getting some rest or going on a walk will help you clear your mind. Meditating and working on your favorite hobby will also bring some form of semblance.
- Set realistic goals
As a college athlete, it is easy to set over-ambitious goals to make up for lost time or get noticed for a great opportunity at professional hockey. However, Unrealistic goals could lead to stress and the feeling of being overwhelmed. Set small actionable plans that will build up to the bigger goals to keep this from happening.
When you give yourself time to experience college life while at the same time working on small areas of your hockey career and academics, you’ll feel less overwhelmed. Having a healthy social life is very important for your mental wellbeing.
Being a college athlete is impressive and exciting but also comes with responsibilities. Therefore, it is in your best interest to cultivate a good mental space, which will help you manage all the sports, academic and social pressure better. Remember, you want to enjoy this phase of your life too. You could also seek a certified therapist if you feel that your mental health is deteriorating too fast.