I have played about a total of 10 years of basketball, ever since I was seven. I had amazing support from my family. They watched the majority of my games, trained me, put me in clubs, camps, and coached me on my mistakes. Every weekend was a tournament, every Thursday and Saturday was a practice. It was my sport of choice. And this is where I would dub, "Ball is life" and it really was the case for me.

Lianne Chau

As I started varsity the summer before my sophomore year of high school, our coach conditioned us to max capacity. We had timed runs, weight lifting, and constant drilling. I worked hard and was the most fit I had ever been in my life. I took the sport very seriously, I counted calories, ate bland food, read food labels, and drank green juices. As the school year came rolling in, I confidently made time on the 10-11 second time limit to run up and down the court. I aggressively played on the court, dove for the ball, and pushed myself to max capacity and played on injuries. I had muscles to brag about. 

It slowly crept upon me. As my junior year began for preseason, my coach made a deal that every time a team scored above a set score, we would have to run a multiple of it. I remember the most being 143 runs up and down the court. Timed. One of my teammates almost blacked out, another sat down with a headache, I gagged out of dehydration and fatigue. One of my teammates couldn't make the time and we were forced to redo it...over and over...

I found myself sitting at my desk at night staring at the wall and it would continue to sunrise, where I sat on my  bed staring at my desk. My mind went blank. My grades started to suffer. I feared going to school. I feared after-school practice. This anxiety grew and stayed for months. I was afraid the team wouldn't make time, I was afraid of eating unhealthy and becoming out of shape, and I was afraid of our punishments for not being good enough. I never thought "on the line" would be the most stress-inducing phrase ever.

Although everyone says sports are good for you and working out will help you mentally and physically, my situation was definitely not the case. I questioned my mental health, what if I was really depressed and suffered from anxiety? What would happen to me? Eventually, I ended my 10 relationship with basketball. 

If there is an issue regarding mental health, be sure to properly address it and work towards a solution. Talk to friends, family, and or see a doctor. Remember there are people out there that wish the best for you and there are plenty of online services that are perfect resources. Your mental health can be just as important as your physical health, so make sure you consider this, even when it comes to sports.