I designed my major to be relatable to my identity. I believe that in order to be as successful as humanly possible, passion alone will take you farther than any other attribute. Being able to use passion to drive success is what I believe to be an aspect that brings meaning to life. I am passionate about coaching, teaching, and developing athletes into far more than just “better” athletes. Sport Psychology has a general focus of supplying athletes with tools to help protect themselves from negative factors that everyday life brings. On top of everyday stressors that are inevitable in everyday life, sport has an intense emotional aspect to it. An athletes identity revolves around their sport. They live and breathe the breath their sport exhales. With that aspect in mind, the performance of many athletes is inescapably hindered by negative psychological aspects of their sport! For more information on negative psychological aspects of sport you can look at my research article that pinpoints different situations that could affect performance.
My research article revolves itself around how our top elite athletes use subliminal mental training to enhance their performance. By analyzing the books and autobiographies that Tom Brady, Rod Laver, and Bobby Orr wrote, I was able to extract psychological aspects of their sport that made them into the amazing athletes they were. By supporting a lot of my information with scholastic works, I was able to show an outlook of sport psychology that sometimes goes unnoticed. Even Rod Laver, an incredible professional tennis player I analyzed says in his autobiography, “By studying the greats of our game, I had learned how to change my tactics when the going got tough.” I believe that this contributed to my education in a few ways. One, I was able to read sports literature that wasn’t purposely written to be applied to sport psychology. This forced me to analyze these books from a completely different perspective, and created a learning atmosphere that enabled me to open my mind to what sport psychology actually is in relation to the real world. Secondly, this was my first experience writing an article specifically directed to my field of study. I plan on writing a lot of material based on the discipline, and this was a good stepping stone towards what my dreams are for the future.
My research project was directed to helping four Plymouth State University student
lacrosse players learn the importance of mental training exercises. Of the four student athletes, none of them have had any sport psychology consulting which was perfect as they were my first college student athletes that I have worked with. My main goal was to compare the differences in how well each adapted to my sport psychology mental skills training exercises based on age and maturity. Although the amount of time I had to consult with them was not enough to find data to come to a valid conclusion, they all benefited from our meetings and I really do believe I gave them a few tools to help them with their collegiate athletic journey. This benefitted my education because practical experience is one of the only ways to gain knowledge in any specific field. Especially with sport psychology consulting, it is very important to see how different each and every athlete is so we can creatively prepare to help them with their respective sport. Through psychodynamic approaches as well as other methods, we can train the mind to deal with the stressors of sport as well as life.
The fact that I had the opportunity to creatively create a discipline pulling classes from sport and exercise physiology, coaching, and psychology has been life changing. My favorite way to think about this is getting a jump start on graduate school. I also believe this course has transformed the way I look at education. I have this new notion that the people who form new knowledge in their discipline which this course forced me to do, are the people who are going to revolutionize their respective discipline. One aspect of my program that I cannot believe is coming true is a 12 credit internship for my senior spring semester. I am so grateful that I will be directly consulting with over 50 young hockey players ages 16-21. This is an experience that is very hard to acquire for an undergraduate at Plymouth State University, but because of the Interdisciplinary program, I was able to apply an internship that will directly give me experience and education in the field of study I want to pursue for the rest of my life.