Bingham Sports Affect Student Athletes’ Mental Health


Photo by Gina Terrell

Bingham dance company at the South Jordan parade.

It is clear that sports at Bingham impact the physical health of athletes, but people don’t seem to question the effect they have on the students’ mental health. Although sports have both positive and negative effects on mental health, most students express that the benefits of teamwork and positive energy outweigh the countless hours of practice and stress.

Positive Effects

Participating in sports has some positive effects on athletes’ mental health. First, exercising allows for people to distract themselves from their stress. The human brain is only capable of focusing fully on one thing at a time. This means that if the athlete is completely concentrated on their sport, then they won’t be able to worry about other stressors in life.

“Mountain biking has helped me keep myself calm, especially when I get stressed from school. It’s a way for me to redirect my stress and put it towards something that is positive,” said Lili Fulwider, a captain of the Mountain Biking Team. 

Being on a team also helps athletes to improve their mood and feel a connection to their peers. Humans naturally feed off of each other’s energy, so a positive vibe can help boost team morale.

“Being a part of a team affects my mood so much! For the most part, we all bring up each other’s energy, and it makes me so happy,” said Kylie Brown, an officer on Dance Company. 

Negative Effects

Team sports can also affect athletes in a negative way. The time consuming nature of school sports makes it difficult for students to manage both school and athletics.

“My sport does make it hard to find time for school work. I have to really manage my time and do schoolwork whenever I can just so I don’t stay up until 1:00 a.m. doing assignments,” said Fulwider. 

Staying up late and not getting enough sleep is common in student athletes. Schoolwork can take up a lot of time and students often stay up late in order to finish everything on time. This lack of sleep can make it hard for them to concentrate and pay attention in school. 

Sports also make students more prone to injuries. Injuries can take a large toll on athletes’ mental health and make it difficult for them to stay motivated. 

“A few years ago I had a lot of hip flexor pain. It felt like there wasn’t a point of going to practice because I couldn’t do anything…It was devastating to be on the sidelines doing nothing,” said Michael Boyle, a player on the soccer team.

When athletes get injured, they usually cannot participate in practice or in games. Having to watch their team play without them can cause frustration because they want to help contribute to the group, but they can’t.


In general, while there can be negative mental health effects, Bingham athletes’ overall feeling is that sports positively influence their mental health. 

“Dance Company has brought so much happiness and fun into my life! I’ve also been able to make so many more friends, and I’ve been so much more involved in school activities,” said Brown. 

They also feel that sports allow them to be more connected to the school and to feel like part of a cohesive team. Bingham athletes recommend that anyone who has an interest in being on a team should try out.

“I would definitely recommend that people play sports at Bingham. All of the coaches are very nice and they teach you a lot. The team activities are really fun and you become part of a big family,” said Boyle.