Travel

Penn State women's volleyball student-athletes value mental well-being in face of added pressure – The Daily Collegian Online





The Penn State women’s volleyball team meets during half time during its game against Maryland at Rec Hall on Friday, October 29th, 2021 in University Park, Pa. Penn State beat Maryland 3-0.
Defensive specialist Maddy Bilinovic (2) spikes the ball during the Penn State women’s volleyball game against Maryland at Rec Hall on Friday, October 29th, 2021 in University Park, Pa. Penn State beat Maryland 3-0.
The Penn State women’s volleyball team meets during half time during its game against Maryland at Rec Hall on Friday, October 29th, 2021 in University Park, Pa. Penn State beat Maryland 3-0.
After two weeks of back-to-back action, tournaments and a long drive to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Penn State has no other choice but to be exhausted.
The Nittany Lions have already played six matches this season, finding success in all of them while still managing the pressures and responsibilities that come with being student-athletes.
Graduate student outsider hitter Kashauna Williams said her mental health is generally in a good place but recognized things can get tough once in a while.
“Sometimes it may go down a little bit,” Williams said. “When [that] happens, you just got to bounce back.”
To assure the players cope with pressure, anxiety and mental health struggles, and are able “to bounce back,” Adrianna Napoletano, Penn State’s director of performance psychology services, works one-on-one with the Nittany Lions.
“Adriana… met with them pretty much every other week in the spring,” coach Katie Shumacher-Cawley said. “Once we started preseason, she is always available to them, and I know a lot of the girls on their own reach out to her and seek advice.”
While willingness to address one’s mental well-being is ultimately decided on an individual basis, providing accessible resources for athletes allows them the opportunity to seek help without needing to worry about jumping through hoops.
This system of accessibility is something the school’s newest head coach believes the squad is lucky to have.
“We are always on board with mental health,” Schumacher-Cawley said. “I think they are very fortunate that they have resources here on campus that are always available to them.
“I think it is something that we stress. That we always have to take advantage of these tools and resources to help on and off the court, not just for volleyball but for their daily life.”
Every staff member associated with the program also plays an important role in ensuring both the mental and physical well-being of their athletes is intact.
Whether that be academic advisers, nutritionists, strength coaches, trainers, psychologists or otherwise, each and every professional bears the responsibility. Schumacher-Cawley also said it’s good to have someone else outside of the staff to talk to, like a teammate to rely on in a time of need.
In many cases, the occasional escape from demands of sport and school is vital to an athlete’s ability to perform well in competition.
Defensive specialist Maddy Bilinovic (2) spikes the ball during the Penn State women’s volleyball game against Maryland at Rec Hall on Friday, October 29th, 2021 in University Park, Pa. Penn State beat Maryland 3-0.
Junior libero Maddy Bilinovic mentioned two things the Nittany Lions do to help reduce anxious feelings they face before games or practices.
“We’ve been doing yoga a lot, and implementing breathing habits and like slowing yourself down, slowing your mind down,” Bilinovic said.
The junior libero said as times get tough, on and off the court, the team turns to those methods of de-stressing to help reset individually and as a whole.
When it comes to addressing mental health struggles, everyone has their own methods that work best for them, and Williams is no different.
“Self-talk — it’s like the most important thing, just because you get to talk positivity in your mind to achieve greatness,” Williams said.
When it comes to her in-game approach to dealing with pressure, the first-year Nittany Lion does her best to remain calm.
“Sometimes I get anxious, so, I think, being patient, just reading everything — the set, the pass, the serve. So yeah, being patient, working it out for the team,” Williams said. “When we are in hectic plays, and the other team would get on runs, we just kept together and breathe and trust the process. We are being patient with the process.”
Outside of the heat of competition, though, Williams turns to herself and a higher power for clarity ahead of matches. The Nittany Lion reiterated positive self-talk is a big point of emphasis for herself and also added she turns to religion to find peace of mind.
Mental-health issues among student-athletes is a topic that’s starting to resonate more, and while players struggle with it in different ways, the added conversation can only benefit them.
According to surveys conducted by the NCAA, concerns of mental well-being have nearly doubled since the coronavirus pandemic. At times like these, resilience and patience were some of the qualities that athletes were forced to learn.
Penn Staters were right there along with the rest of the country, learning to adapt on the fly to a rapidly changing world.
“Mental health is obviously a big piece, for not only non-athletes but especially for student-athletes,” Bilinovic said.
MORE VOLLEYBALL COVERAGE
Penn State setter Seleisa Elisaia continued her dominance at the net this weekend and was re…
If you’re interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.
Coming off another dominant 3-0 weekend, Penn State has a pair of matches against ranked opponents this weekend in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at …
Before Penn State’s season opener against Purdue, “The 1-0 Podcast” co-hosts Seth Engle and Max Ralph give a season preview and provide their predictions for the Nittany Lions’ record this season.
Your contribution will help the Collegian provide award winning journalism to the Penn State community and beyond.
Donate to the Collegian by clicking the button below.
Success! An email has been sent to with a link to confirm list signup.
Error! There was an error processing your request.
Going through the highlights of the Penn State and State College news so you don’t have to. Sign up today! Sent every Thursday.
Get weekend previews and weekend recaps from The Daily Collegian Sports staff sent to your inbox. Sent every Friday and Monday.
If you’re interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.

source



Related posts
Travel

Popular whitewater rafting period set to begin in West Virginia - WCHS

Read more
Travel

Illegal Immigrants Plead Guilty to Smuggling Conspiracy That Killed Woman in Texas - Washington Free Beacon

ADVERTISEMENTSHARETwo Guatemalan men who illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border and led across…
Read more
Travel

September Border Crossings To Set New Record, Internal DHS Data Show - Washington Free Beacon

ADVERTISEMENTSHAREMigrant border crossings are on pace for a record-breaking September, preliminary…
Read more
Newsletter
Join THE PRO PEOPLE Family

Sign up for The Pro People Community's Daily Digest and get the best of Industry updates, tailored for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.