I sat down with Christine Sotile for a Q&A, we talked about what she enjoys most about her job, resources that us students can take advantage of and a few tips to deal with worsening mental health.
Christine currently serves as Coordinator of Student-Athlete Mental Health in the LSU Athletic Department’s Sport Psychology & Counselling Services.
Why did you want to get into the field of sports psychology?
I’ve always loved sports whether it was participating or watching. I grew a fascination with the mental side of sports and how it can affect your mental health and well-being.
I noticed that motivation played a big role in sporting success. One thing I would always do with my children is tell them a motivational quote before their event to try and encourage them.
What are some of the most rewarding aspects of your job?
The population I work with are predominately students, who are in the stage of their life where change is constant. Watching people develop is incredible and there is no feeling like it.
I get to help people find their happy spot.My job lets me work with a diverse group of all genders, colours, cultures, religions. Every person is an adventure, every single person is creating their own life path.
My job never feels like one, it is fulfilling, exciting and challenging all at the same time.
What resources are there for students on campus for Mental Health?
Christine kindly gave me a list of resources for students on campus to share with you all! Here are a few she mentioned.
Apps related to mental health our readers should download?
I have a few that I suggest to my clients: calm, insight timer, headspace and 10% happier.
Tips to help with academic stress?
How do I calm my nerves before a big event?
Whether it’s the final of the NCAA’s or a big interview for your dream job, everyone has nerves. It’s key to know how your mind works and how you can help calm your mind and body.
Here are some techniques you can use:
How important are setting boundaries?
One thing I’ve learned is that if you don’t set boundaries, the consequences are likely going to catch up with you at some point. For example, if you’re a people pleaser you’re going to allow people to push you around until you’ve had enough. Most of the time you’ll have to do it the hard way and learn through experiences what boundaries you must create.
As a sports psychologist, what advice would you offer athletes who have parted ways with their sport?
Learn more about your identity outside of your sporting role, take note of what interests you socially, and recreationally. It’s healthy to have different ways to express your personality.
Step outside of your comfort zone to find new hobbies and activities you find pleasure in doing. Everyone has talents inside of them beyond their athletic realm. Learn where you can apply your talents and skills from sports to another profession.
How to break the stigma around Mental Health?
It may sound scary to contact someone to talk about yourself but try and recognize that you’re not alone. Other people are in your exact shoes. It shows a lot of courage and strength to ask for help.
An experienced counselor will do their best to make you feel comfortable, and to take things at your pace.
A lot of people feel lighter after their first session with a psychologist/therapist, as it may lift the load on your shoulders, and you’re able to release some tension through verbalisation. Plus, where else
A lot of people feel lighter after their first session with a psychologist/therapist, as it may lift the load on your shoulders, and you’re able to release some tension through verbalization. Plus, where else can you go to talk solely about yourself to a professional, and it is 100% confidential.