Mental health takes center stage during ETHS girls tennis Season

As many athletes, such as Naomi Osaka and Falcons Wide Receiver Calvin Ridley, are speaking up about their own mental health struggles and stepping away from the game, members of the ETHS tennis team did as well, which was a unique aspect to the Wildkits’ tennis season. 

Players stepping away led to the lineup being switched around which Junior tennis player Mia Tingley expands, “A big moment would be that due to some mental health breaks that some people on the team took, the lineup changed up a little bit, so because of that I switched from playing one singles to one and two doubles”

“Mental health was probably the main struggle that we faced this year, but our coaches are very understanding and really want what’s best for the players, not just what makes the team necessarily the strongest.” Tingley remarked.

While the ETHS girls tennis team isn’t often one of the first teams to come to mind when thinking about ETHS, the team is a very strong community. Tingley said, “My favorite thing about being on the team is definitely the sense of community and the bond that we make during the season. So many friendships form and strengthen with both players and coaches.”

While this season was hard on a lot of players aside from mental health, Tingley said, “Everyone played really well and definitely improved a lot, especially first time varsity players because JV to varsity is a big change that can be hard to prepare for.”

Looking towards the next season Tingley reflected, “I think most of the team is going to be trying to get more match play time because in Evanston there aren’t very many opportunities to play matches outside of season, which puts us at a disadvantage from other schools who get to play more off season.”

Tingley concludes, “I hope people recognize how supportive everyone on the team is and the sacrifices that everyone makes to make the team stronger, even if it isn’t what is ideal for them.”