Carina Thompson is a performance enhancement consultant who works with the sports psychology aspect of training at FSU. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Fordham University, she came to FSU and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in sports psychology. She has been working with the hockey team as their personal performance enhancement consultant this season and will continue to provide services for them through the end of the season.
“I got involved with the team after apprenticing last season,” she said. “I felt a connection with the team and I knew I could provide the best services for the team so I applied to work with them.” After writing an essay explaining why she felt she was the best candidate for the team, her supervisor agreed she was the perfect fit for the team and granted her the position.
So what exactly is sports psychology? According to Carina, it’s the performance enhancement in the sense of training the mental aspects of a sport for athletes. As the team’s consultant, she does a variety of things under the sports psychology scope. Sports psychology focuses on topics such as attention, arousal, confidence, leadership, and motivation. The most recent topic the team has been working on is decision making. She also provides individual consultations for the boys if needed. “You can cover a variety of things to make sure they are tracking the right stimuli in rink,” she said. “I make sure they’re able to use distractions to their advantage, and help them how to turn what would normally be a debilitating situation into a facilitative situation.”
In addition, she also tries to maintain a supportive and positive presence for the team. “I travel with the team and go to every practice because I believe being there for them and being part of a supportive system is vital to the team’s confidence and performance,” she said. “I always like to show them that I’m available even when they don’t express a desire for a consultation.” Carina is a firm believer in maintaining a positive attitude and environment, no matter how the team is doing.
Prior to this season, Carina sat down with Head Coach, Nat Boiangin, and created a plan for the entire season on what she wanted to focus and work on with the team. “We worked on a lot of decision making this semester,” she noted. “Not only is it vital to the team’s success, but it’s important in many facets of life, such as academics.”
Not only has the entire team benefitted from her services, Carina has also had nothing but a positive encounter working with the boys. “This has been an amazing experience because I feel like I have been able to establish incredible relationships with the athletes,” she said. “I’ve really come to respect them and understand them as people. They are not just athletes, they are students and each of them has their own back story that makes them the unique and remarkable people they are. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to get to know each of them and help them achieve optimal performance.”
About the Author
Jenny Wills is a senior Media & Communication Studies major at FSU and the team's media manager