Photo by Ian Simpson
Novice coach Megan Smith participated in one of the games set up by the team sport psychologist that visited the LBS Rowing women. In this particular event, two teams had to race to one side and back with tape wrapped around them.
By Kelsey Davis
No one said college was going to be easy. In fact, college is one of the busiest and most stressful times of any young adult’s life. There are classes, homework, jobs, internships, fighting for scholarships, and if you’re lucky, a social life to worry about. That’s not even including basic living necessities like eating, sleeping, grocery shopping, laundry, and hopefully a shower here or there.
The life of a college student can be pretty demanding. But we aren’t just regular college students. We are student athletes. We are student rowers. With that title comes a whole new list of stresses that range from lack of sleep from the 5AM wake up call to preparing for the next 2k test. With all of these stresses, it’s important we learn to deal with them in healthy ways and manage our busy schedules while still improving as a rower.
That’s where Jenny, our team sport psychologist student, comes in. Every other week or so, she wakes up at 5a.m. with us and observes our practice. After observing and gaining some insight on our needs, she meets with our team and helps us set effective and attainable goals. We learn relaxation techniques and ways to channel pretest anxiety into something useful. We also play team building games that bring the team together, help us identify our strengths and weaknesses, and give us some pretty good laughs. We can go to her with questions about how to deal with specific problems and she helps us train our thoughts to be positive and uplifting instead of negative.
Discussing things like relaxing breathing, visualizing, and positive self talk seems a little weird at first. Is this stuff really going to work? The answer is yes. After winter break I was anxious and felt slower than when I left in the fall. The 2k test was coming up, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle it. Jenny’s techniques helped me focus my thoughts and stay positive. Progressive muscle relaxation and visualizing helped me stay calm and get prepared the night before, and in the morning, I felt ready. These techniques aren’t just helpful for rowing but can be useful when preparing for a school exam or a job interview. I’m excited to see what else Jenny has to offer as the Spring race season beings.
Photo by Ian Simpson
The women’s novice team competed against the varsity team and novice coach Megan Smith to race to one side and back while wrapped in tape during a game set up by the sports psychologist that visited LBS Rowing.