A rising GSB Senior is using his platform to help fellow athletes take a healthier approach to sports and the games that they love.
As an active member of the GSB community who serves as both a peer leader and captain of the Boys’ Tennis program, Jack Dahler ’24 knows first-hand that student-athletes face a unique set of mental health pressures. Whether it be recovering from an injury, burnout, social media scrutiny, or other external stress factors, the challenges that young athletes face can take a toll on their personal well-being, recovery habits, and sense of identity.
He decided it was time to make a difference.
Over the summer, Dahler launched his website, Out of Bounds, to shed light on the mental health stigmas that young athletes face. The online resource aims to create a place where Jack’s peers can share their own journeys, triumphs, and struggles, while encouraging athletes and their supporters to hold mental health to the same standard as physical health. By using his own personal story and encouraging others to speak out, Dahler believes the site can create a better-balanced approach to youth sports.
“Mental health is such a prevalent issue right now, but this struggle among young athletes is constantly getting overlooked,” commented Dahler. “It’s important that athletes and the people supporting them recognize that these kids are still developing, and they need to enjoy what they’re doing. The mind is just as important to take care of as the body.”
"Jack's story is just one of many, and we need to continue to encourage our students to open up about the way they feel,” said GSB Director of Athletics Jenn Noon and member of the GSB Wellness Committee.
“I give Jack tremendous credit for being vulnerable because there are many students who can relate to his story. The more our coaches, faculty, staff and GSB community can come together to raise awareness, the closer we come to breaking the stigma around mental health."
Dahler’s work has gained the attention of local and regional news outlets. In August, Dahler shared the importance of prioritizing rest and mental health in an article with The Bernardsville News. Additionally, just last week, Dahler and fellow GSB tennis teammates were featured in a special CBS2 New York video segment on the same subject.
“It was such a great and fun experience getting to work with CBS. I'm honored to be a spokesperson and representative for young athletes who have gone through mental health struggles,” commented Dahler.
“This story will hopefully reach many children, families, and coaches who might not know about this issue, or who may be having trouble dealing with it. I'm glad that the media is finally shedding light on a struggle that so many young athletes go through and letting them feel like they're not alone.”
Please join the entire GSB community in congratulating Jack for his courage, character, and outstanding work on behalf of an important cause. Be sure to watch the full CBS segment here!