The Student News Site of Pella High School


The Student News Site of Pella High School


The Student News Site of Pella High School


Wrestling and Mental Health: A Q&A with Jacon DeRuiter

Lauren Burton

Q: How much has mental health affected you during your wrestling season? 

A: It affects my mental health in both good and bad ways. One good way is I break the mental barriers and push myself beyond my limits. One way it’s bad is when I can’t get a move down or lose a match I should have won. I beat myself up about it very badly, and it just makes you rethink if you should even be out there in the first place.


Q: What is the best way you keep pushing yourself even through the tough practices and matches that don’t go the way you want? 

A: I could care less if I do badly as long as I give my best effort, but for me, it’s my teammates who help me push through because watching them improve and get better pushes me to keep going and shows me that you have to have fun with it. You can’t always worry about the wins or the losses.

Q: How has cutting or gaining weight affected you? 

A: I have never had to cut weight, but it affects you physically a lot because you are always calorie deficient, so your body gets less than it is used to and can start making you sleepy or cranky.


Q: Has wrestling improved your mental health?  If so, in any way? 

A: Wrestling has improved my mental health because it’s made me able to push myself beyond my limits, and when you do that, you get a feeling of satisfaction, and it makes you feel good knowing you went out in practice and gave it your all. It helped me emotionally too because you can show up and just leave all of it at the door and just wrestle and have fun with your friends.


Q: What has been your biggest takeaway from wrestling?

A: For me, it’s that you can’t give up just because it’s hard or you can’t figure it out. You have to push through it because most of the time in life you’re not going to have someone to pick you up or be there for you, so you have to learn how to do it yourself.  It taught me how to see a situation, analyze it, and adapt, and what I mean by that is even when you have a bad day or you have had a few bad matches, you can still be happy and celebrate a teammate’s success and always have fun.


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