My involvement in sports started by playing recreational soccer starting at age 4, and my love of sports had begun. From that point on, I played some type of sport almost every season until I began college. Even then I didn’t get very far from athletics. After playing recreationally for a few years, I was asked to play up on a competitive soccer team. I played with this team for one year, then played for a competitive team my father started. At this point I started dabbling with the use of sport psychology concepts, though I didn’t know that is what they were at the time. I played for this team from age 8 through high school. During the soccer off seasons, I played basketball from 4th grade through freshman year. I also played t-ball and softball for a combined 3 years. I found that playing other sports helped keep me in shape and kept me from getting burned out from soccer.
I attended Northwest Missouri State University for both my undergraduate degree and Master’s degree. My undergraduate degree is in Psychology/ Sociology with a minor is Sport Psychology and my Master’s degree is in Sport and Exercise Psychology. Taking Dr. Sterling’s classes and getting to work with her outside of class really cemented in my goal that Sport Psychology was what I wanted to do as a career.
Sport has been a family activity since I was little. As previously mentioned, my father started the competitive soccer team I played for throughout my childhood. He was the first to introduce me to the use of imagery before competition, which is now one of my favorite strategies to employ. My younger sister also was a member of this team, and became one of my first “athletes to work with” in sport psychology ideals to which my father had introduced me. I continue to follow sport, both in terms of sport psychology and as a fan. My husband Trevor and I are season ticket holders for Sporting Kansas City and attend all home games, and some away games as well!
During this time at Northwest, I had the opportunity to work with many different athletes and performers. I was fortunate enough to get to work with the Bearcat Women’s Soccer Team. This gave me priceless experience in how to work with a team of high level athletes. In addition, I worked individually with athletes from other sports, as well as students in the performing arts fields.
Along with all of this experience working with athletes and other performers, I held the position of Graduate Assistant for the Supplemental Instruction program at Northwest. This gave me even more experience working with both individuals and large groups. I was even able to work in some sport psychology skills working with Supplemental Instruction leaders while tutoring students. This goes to show just how wide reaching these skills can be and how they can be implemented in sport and many other areas of life.