Cedar Crest College newspaper since 1923
By Rebekkah Parsons, Staff Writer
With the set score tied at 5 all and a game score of 40-love favoring her opponent, Jamie Wojciechowski knew that this serve was the defining moment of the match.
It was her serve, she was able to control the game. She could easily take the lead. But her head wasn’t in it.
As she stood on the baseline, she bounced the ball to prepare for her serve. But her mind kept going to the huge anatomy test that she had to take in two days. She was trying to figure out how she would fit studying into her already busy schedule.
Shaking those thoughts out of her head, she served the ball and aced her opponent. “One more just like that” she told herself as she stood behind the baseline once again. She was able to win the point and ultimately that game.
The thoughts of studying for her test flooded her mind again, and she knew that her team was depending on her to win this next game and ultimately her set. She shook the thoughts out of her head once again and fought hard to take the set. She fought the same way through the second set, and pulled out a close win over her opponent.
Staying focused on both school and sports is difficult for student-athletes who are under the pressure of competing well in their sport and in the classroom. They must meet the demands of games, practices and homework while maintaining a certain grade point average (GPA) in order to participate in that sport which adds extra pressure and stress.
Mind of the Athlete, located in Bethlehem, PA, says that the key for athletes to stay focused while competing is to clear their minds of all but the current task.
Sports are emotional, so it is critical to enter a game with a clear mind. For many athletes, that might be hard due to their minds filling with background noises. Athletes try to focus on the game, but there’s more weighing on their minds than just the game. The background noise and their thoughts might change the way they perform.
Mind of the Athlete is a sports psychology company that works to improve the mental health of athletes while helping athletes reach their fullest potential in every aspect of their life. They offer a one-on-one counseling service as well as audio files and videos.
Much like the things clouding the head of athletes, topics covered vary. They look at the athlete’s confidence, motivation, and positive thinking which plays a large role in how an athlete performs.
Mind of the Athlete encourages athletes to focus on the present and clear their mind before any performance.
“Usually baseball is my way to get away from the stresses of school,” said Mickey Ferrence, sophomore baseball player at Arcadia University.
“When I get to the field, it’s like everything else pauses and I clear my mind of anything else bothering me. I tell myself that anything that needs to be done can be done after practice or the game. Then I just go out there and play, not thinking about anything but what I’m doing at the present.”
There are five common hurdles faced by athletes: sleep, depression, vision, emotional energy, and rehabilitation of an injury.
For any athlete, stress can get in the way of their performance. So adding coursework to a college athlete on top of their sport might make them reach their breaking point.
“My athletic performance in track and field and cross country is unfortunately barricaded by the stresses of school at times,” Marissa Metric, a student-athlete at Misericordia University, said.
Metric offered some tips of how to help clear your mind. She said, “Try listening to upbeat music to try and stop thinking about the negativity or maybe talk with a friend about what’s stressing you out so you can at least vent.”