AUBURN, Ala. – An internship at the US Army Academy confirmed Dr. Joanna Foss‘s profession path, one which in the end led her to the Plains as a sport psychologist.
“I had all the time identified that I wished to do psychology, however I did not actually know what space,” mentioned Foss, who interned there whereas recovering from an damage as a senior volleyball student-athlete at Marist Faculty in Poughkeepsie, New York, 35 miles north of West Level.
The mission of the academy’s Middle for Enhanced Efficiency is to coach and practice the Corps of Cadets on complete efficiency psychology.
“For me it served two functions,” she mentioned. “It confirmed that that is what I wish to do for a profession and I discovered some superior instruments and tips for my very own damage restoration.”
Alongside the way in which, mentors helped Foss work out which route to go to enter her chosen subject.
“Have liked it,” she mentioned. “By no means regarded again.”
For sport psychologists, an undergraduate diploma is simply the start of their instructional journey.
“I’ve been in class for a really very long time,” mentioned Foss, who earned her grasp’s in sport and efficiency psychology from the College of Denver earlier than incomes her doctorate in counseling psychology, a five-year dedication on the College of Missouri.
From there, Foss continued her coaching as a Medical and Sport Psychology Specialist at Notre Dame earlier than becoming a member of Auburn Athletics as a Counseling and Sport Psychologist in October 2020.
“I’ve liked being right here,” she mentioned. “That is my first actual job with out an finish date, the place I might be current, construct relationships and actually commit and put money into a spot. It is an unbelievable expertise.”
Ten years after graduating from Marist with a level in psychology, Foss’s formal schooling has concluded, however her casual one by no means stops.
“There’s all the time extra to study,” she mentioned. “I’ve carried out all this coaching, however I am all the time nonetheless persevering with to develop and study new issues every day.”
Foss’s expertise enjoying collegiate volleyball helps her relate to Auburn’s student-athletes.
“You possibly can join as a result of you’ve got some sense of what that’s like as effectively,” she mentioned. “I believe it is useful to have individuals who really perceive what that athletic expertise is like.”
Starting her profession in the course of a pandemic created further alternatives for Foss to serve student-athletes.
“It is also in regards to the methods this virus has disrupted virtually each different side of our lives,” she mentioned. “Each manner we work together as people has modified based mostly on this virus.
“When our lives are disrupted to such a degree, it is actually laborious to really feel regular, discover a routine and even do a few of the identical shops. I name it the oblique features of COVID. As we’re capable of come collectively once more, my hope is that a few of that can ease.”
Throughout a latest Auburn Athletics workers assembly, an NCAA government shared that student-athletes nationwide listed psychological well being as their main concern.
“This is not distinctive to Auburn or athletics generally,” Foss mentioned. “We’re seeing rising traits in psychological well being considerations throughout the nation.
“A part of that may be a decreased stigma and willingness to hunt assist, however there are additionally plenty of challenges once we take into consideration social media, expertise and the way the methods we work together have modified, racial violence and social unrest, then you definitely put COVID on high of all of that.
“To see rising staffs and universities investing in psychological well being and providing particular sources has been a extremely good pattern nationally.”
On Could 19, Foss would be the opening presenter at Auburn Athletics’ inaugural Psychological Well being Summit, talking to a digital viewers of student-athletes, coaches and workers on “Staying Mentally Versatile in Unsure Occasions.”
“That is one thing we’re actually enthusiastic about,” she mentioned. “It is a chance to listen to from some professionals at different establishments, and an opportunity to focus and hone in on particular expertise individuals may use to proceed to navigate every part we’re going by means of.
“We wish to make sure that individuals are capable of stroll away with particular expertise they’ll implement of their day-to-day life.”
A decade after that pivotal West Level internship, Dr. Joanna Foss varieties Auburn sports activities drugs’s Counseling and Sport Psychology workforce together with fellow former student-athletes turned psychological well being professionals Dr. Adrian Ferrera and Dr. Julia Cawthra.
“We work with the complete spectrum of psychological well being, from individuals who come to see us for pure efficiency enhancement, all the way in which to people who find themselves combating higher-level psychological well being considerations,” she mentioned.
“We actually wish to scale back that stigma. There isn’t any motive too large or too small to achieve out to us. We’re right here for no matter it’s you want.
“As a workers, we will meet student-athletes wherever they’re and assist take them the place they wish to go.”