How Stanford Basketball Star Haley Jones Prioritizes Her Mental Health


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It’s a fact of their lives that “the pressure is always there,” Jones said. But “what I would say to younger athletes, and also what I try to tell myself, is that it’s okay to feel it. But also you don’t want to let it be overwhelming because, whatever sport you’re in, it’s something that you love to do. And it’s something that you’ve been doing probably for years on end now.”

So when she’s facing a challenge such as a Final Four game, she reminds herself, “‘Haley, this is basketball. You grew up dribbling in the gym as your parents were coaching, dribbling around the house… This is something that you love to do. So why are you turning this passion that you have into a ball of stress and a ball of pressure, when this is something that’s supposed to be your escape, your happy place? You’re supposed to go out here and just hoop, right?'”

People are going to say what they want about you, especially on social media, but “I’m not listening to @troll1234 commenting, ‘Oh, get in the kitchen,'” Jones quipped. “I’m listening to what my mom has to say when I go see her in the stands. I’m listening to what my dad, my friends have to say about my play and how I carry myself out there.”

Again, it’s not always easy to drown out the noise, but, she advised, “Have confidence in what you do and what you’re capable of, and just remember, Why are you here? You love basketball, you love whatever you’re doing. So just go do it.”


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