The oldest of six girls, the former basketball player helps student-athletes — from the burliest linebacker to the tiniest gymnast — deal with life, sports and school.
How life impacts performance and vice versa. If you are a student-athlete and your relationship is falling apart, it will affect your ability to pitch a baseball game and do well in class. We work with athletes struggling with body image and eating disorders, especially in endurance, weight-based, or judged sports like crew coxswains, gymnastics and cross-country.
In 2006, less than 10 schools in the country had one. Today, five other Pac-12 schools do—USC, Stanford, Arizona, Utah and Colorado. We’ve had a sport psychologist position here for five years. And now that the NCAA’s chief medical officer declared mental health as the top health-care issue for student-athletes, many other schools are creating positions.
I see student-athletes for individual therapy. I also consult with coaches, team physicians, athletic trainers, sports dieticians, strength and conditioning coaches and academic advisers. And I attend sporting events to observe team culture and athletic performance.
No. I wish I could have.
There was one upside—it made me pause and realize how scary surgery is for our athletes. It definitely made me more compassionate, patient and empathetic.