This quarter, I started with the lofty goal of interviewing Mia Stellberg or Lars Robl. Given the shift in my original research plans, I revised to the goal of interviewing Dr. Jason Freeman, the sports psychologist for the UVA sports department, in favor of interviewing either Mia Stellberg or Lars Robl in my original research. I started by emailing him a few times over the course of two or three weeks, after which he responded that, as per an agreement with the NCAA, he was “extremely limited” in what he could say to students that are “of recruiting age.”
Instead, he recommended that I contact Dr. Lori Freeman, a private practice sports psychologist local to the Charlottesville area. I contacted her approximately an hour after his recommendation and she agreed to the interview over email within 24 hours as she could not make it to the 8 different times I had previously enumerated.
I emailed her my questions soon afterwards, which were as follows:
- First, a personal question. How was your business affected by the COVID-19 pandemic? Did you simply move to an online format, or was there an adjustment period? More specifically, what methods have you recommended for your athletes with regards to dealing with COVID-19 induced stress?
- On your website, you mentioned helping to manage success as one of the aspects of your work. How do you typically recommend doing this and what are some easily identifiable indicators that an athlete is in need of this? Is every athlete inherently in need of this?
- What is your personal favorite mental tool to mitigate mid-game anxiety for athletes? My favorite is conscious acceptance of the negative emotions you may feel expressed through positive self-talk, as a means of moving past those emotions. Do you find this to be a successful method of managing negative emotions?
- Finally, what methods do you employ to help athletes return to their sport after recovering from an injury? How many (or what percentage of) athletes do you estimate successfully return to their sport after an injury without guidance and to what degree does that number change with guidance?
As of 9:21 on October 22nd, 2020, she has not yet responded to my questions and thus, I am unable to post the results of the interview, however they will be posted as soon as she answers my questions.