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Lending a mental hand

MUNCIE, Ind.— As collegiate sports continue to evolve, so too do the roles of the athletic departments.

For Dr. Lindsey Blom, someone with more than 15 years of experience in sports psychology, that means taking on a new role as associate athletic director for championship performance.

“It’s a super cool name that really means I oversee the support areas for our student-athletes, which are sports medicine, strength and conditioning, mental health and wellness and nutrition,” Blom said when describing her title.

Blom feels the importance of proper resources cannot be understated, especially with athletes facing pressure outside their sport.

“She had to look right and act right every moment of walking across campus and in class because some people were looking for moments that were negative,” Blom said about a former student-athlete she helped. “And to have our student-athletes always feel like they are switched on is just an enormous amount of stress.”

However, despite this added pressure, Blom feels that her field has come a long way since she was a college soccer player.

“We didn’t talk about it, we didn’t talk about what those resources were, we didn’t even talk about how to get referred over there,” said Blom. “So, as a general student, I would have thought about it that way but not from an athletic standpoint.”

Now, when mental coaching is needed more than ever, there is a promising path forward.

“I have seen our coaches and our student-athletes gain interest in it,” said Blom with a grin. “It has become more normalized to have sports psychology around along with mental skills and mental performance.”

Even then, there remains room for growth across all athletic departments, which Blom hopes to lead.

“So, really increasing the opportunity for the whole team to work together, and for our student-athletes to know that team is there, I think that collaboration is where we can grow the most…across the board and not just Ball State specifically,” Blom said.

For any comments, contact Jake Dickman at jacob.dickman@bsu.edu