By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/2/22
Olivia Samkavitz believes the stigma of admitting as an athlete that you simply want help or assist to your psychological well being is beginning to change.
“I feel individuals had been at all times scared about speaking about (psychological well being) as a result of so many felt they’d assume you weren’t sturdy sufficient,” mentioned the 2024 defender who performs membership for Dynasty Elite. “Individuals had been solely specializing in bodily energy in sports activities.
“Nevertheless it’s being talked about extra. It got here up with (gymnastics celebrity) Simone Biles and as extra athletes have gone public about it, I feel the message is to deal with psychological energy simply as a lot as bodily energy.
“It’s OK if stress is build up and you are feeling you could take a break. There are individuals you’ll be able to go to and sources to show to.”
Samkavitz, who attends Central Bucks East, spoke to a gathering of over 300 Dynasty gamers and fogeys on the membership’s annual Summer season Household Evening Wednesday at Germantown Academy’s Sister Fields. The occasion benefited the Morgan’s Message Basis, created to honor the reminiscence of lacrosse participant Morgan Rodgers – who tragically took her life 3 years in the past on the age of twenty-two after fighting psychological well being points.
Samkavitz grew to become an Ambassador for Morgan’s Message this spring after attending a Villanova girls’s lacrosse sport the place she discovered of the muse. Her message for each gamers and relations was that it’s OK to hunt assist in the event you want it.
“I’ve at all times been keen about student-athlete psychological well being,” mentioned Samkavitz, who additionally performs soccer at CB East. “We are attempting to interrupt the stigma about psychological well being.”
Samkavitz additionally began a membership at CB East referred to as “Subsequent Play Sports activities” that helps highschool athletes in working to minimize the affect of unhealthy performs and work to deal with positives. She plans to include Morgan’s message into her Subsequent Play Sports activities membership since each help psychological well being. She hopes to run an occasion for this trigger within the fall with the CB East soccer workforce.
At Wednesday’s occasion, mother and father helped run a desk with sources about Morgan’s Message. Cash was raised for the muse by way of raffles, t-shirts and an ice cream truck. Morgan’s Message pamphlets have the quantity for the Nationwide Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255) and a Disaster Textual content Line (textual content HOME to 741741).
“Having this occasion actually means loads,” mentioned Samkavitz. “So many mother and father obtained to see it and there are such a lot of sources for youthful ladies.”
Dynasty 2023 assistant coach Maggie Tydings is one other Morgan’s Message Ambassador. Tydings, a rising junior goalie at Johns Hopkins from Princeton, N.J., attended Deerfield Academy, Mass., the place she noticed student-athletes wrestle at occasions with psychological well being points.
“I obtained concerned with Morgan’s Message as a freshman at Johns Hopkins,” Tydings mentioned. “Psychological well being just isn’t talked about sufficient within the athletic neighborhood.
“It’s one thing I noticed loads in boarding college; I had the distinctive expertise of being away from dwelling and that’s the surroundings the place lots of people endure with psychological points. It’s one thing I needed to unfold the phrase about.”
Tydings defined that athletes wish to push themselves onerous and be pushed onerous by their coaches. However they don’t like admitting they often must cease or settle for slowing down.
“In the event you look atthe athletic setting, you by no means wish to be the child that drops out early from the run and also you by no means wish to be the child that asks a coach for a sub,” Tydings mentioned. “You by no means wish to be the one which asks for assist or says you’re feeling down.
“Athletes are taught to maintain going. What they’re saying is the easiest way to maintain going is to take a break generally.”
Tydings mentioned the coaches at Dynasty will maintain pushing their gamers to excel, however will take an equal quantity of power and time to make sure their psychological well being. Final fall Coach Jen Duckenfield, Dynasty’s Director, ran a Morgan’s Message useful resource day throughout a Fall Ball day with a number of groups.
“I feel it’s necessary that on the sphere, as coaches, we’re going to push them onerous,” she mentioned “However off the sphere that is what we’re all about. The entire coaches with Dynasty have an incredible relationship with the youngsters and we do occasions like this and we’re at all times checking up on them.”