A Forever Impact
Name: Zach Watson
Year at SHU: 2018 Graduate
Currently playing at Coker College
Team: Men’s Soccer
Tell us your story!!
I have always believed that mental health and the mental side of playing sports was important but too often overlooked for one reason or the other. People forget that playing sports is not only physically taxing, but mentally taxing as well and they only seem to care if you are physically in a good state. I knew that HeartToHeart; would be successful because I think people do want to talk about mental well-being, but nobody really knows where to begin, who to talk to, or are simply nervous about their concerns being brushed off.
For me, I was really tested this past month when I had to go through a tough preseason at a new school, in a completely different setting, and with people I was meeting for the first time. Even though I have been through four previous seasons of college soccer, it was difficult not really having anyone down here to talk to. What helped me the most to relax my mind was simply texting or talking to my friends from Sacred Heart. And I think this is something people need to understand when they or a friend are going through a difficult period; just listening to someone or talking about something as simple as how their day went, can go a long way for a person.
"Athletics are hard but knowing your former teammates value you as a friend and person by just talking, can go a long way in helping to ease stress or anxiety and I am forever grateful to my friends from Sacred Heart in helping me out, even if they had no idea they were doing so."
I still miss everything about SHU and my friends and family, it’s a lot different down here in South Carolina, but HeartToHeart; and wearing the green wristband everywhere I go just gives me that subtle reminder that I can talk to the people who care about me and they will listen and help me if I need it.
HeartToHeart; has and will continue to make an impact on the SHU campus, it’s impact cannot be overlooked, and I can’t wait to see it continue to grow even though my time at SHU is over. I hope more people and schools will take initiative to make mental health be taken as seriously as physical health. To play at the college level, we are physically elite athletes. The difference in games between winning and losing usually comes down to the mental aspects. So why not train the mental side and help those who are struggling mentally? It will help them on the field, ice, or court, but more importantly it will help them off it as well.
Class of 2018, Men's Soccer