ORONO – High school football and volleyball athletes will have to wait to compete until the spring, and, for athletes, that change can mean a significant blow to their mental health.
For some of the most committed athletes, their identity is often rooted in the sport they play. When that is taken from then, it can completely disrupt their routine. Psychologist Dr. Christine Selby says re-establishing a new routine is key in the early days with their sport.
Dr. Selby said the Maine Principals’ Association and the state were wise to allow for football and volleyball teams to continue meeting; as social interaction and continuing to be in a team atmosphere are important for athletes.
Additionally, Dr. Selby says allowing athletes to process the emotions of the decision now is important for the future. “Initially, being able to acknowledge the fact that they’re feeling something, the feeling’s probably pretty strong, and allowing themselves to feel it, and then finding a way to adjust to a new reality, which we’ve been doing for the past however many months, but this is now a new reality in terms of their sport.”
One of the loudest athlete voices during the debate on fall sports has been Foxcroft Academy senior wide receiver Logan Martin, who says he has dealt with anxiety and depression for a number of years, and football has served as an outlet for him to temporarily escape those battles.
Martin shared on open letter on Aug. 18 on social media about what the sport means to him. Now, in a time where his escape may be in question, he is leaning on his support system to make the best of a tough moment.
“Put my faith in God, put my faith in my family, my coaches, my teammates to keep working, to be there for me, that’s all I can do. I can’t sit around and pout, I got to keep working.”