HERMISTON, WA - These days, there's a spotlight being shined on the mental health of professional athletes. But out at Hermiston High School, they're already making the mental health of their athletes a priority.
Everyone wants to win, that's essentially the entire reason that we play sports, but for Hermiston girls' wrestling, the victories on the mat take a back seat to the well-being of the athletes. It all starts with head coach Andy Hall, who has made it his mission to make sure that his wrestlers are growing, both on the mat and off it.
“Wrestling for me, is just a way to get my stress out.’ said senior Fatima Izaguirre-Frasser,“So for me, being here on the mat, it's one way for me to cope with my mental health.”
Coach Hall also recognizes that it takes a concerted effort from both the athletes and the coaching staff to ensure that everyone involved is happy and healthy, “I think we've done a really good job of keeping our positive team culture. We try to put each other first, recognizing our own mental health and when we need off days and advocating to the coaches and setting short term goals.”
With this mindset, Hall feels as if he’s better preparing his athletes for life after high school, “When they leave this program, that hard work is going to pay off in the long run, and when they come against adversity, that they can persevere and strive through. Life's not going to be easy, life's going to knock them down, they got to get back up and keep fighting.”