There Is No Off-season for the Bucknell Student-Athlete: A Bucknell Volleyball Summer Experience
July 6, 2009
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Throughout the summer, members of the Bucknell volleyball squad will be checking in and sharing the various educational endeavors they are pursuing while away from Lewisburg. Here is the next installment of the 2009 summer, courtesy of senior psychology major, biology minor and volleyball team co-captain Allison Gittings.
For the first installment of 2009, follow the link below:
Welcome, Class of 2013! We are looking forward to meeting you and sharing the Bison experience! As upperclassmen we want to share a bit about our summers before you join us. They are varied, committed to individual strength training while embracing challenging courses, internships, jobs and research opportunities. Mine in particular has been occupied with traveling, playing volleyball, working out and doing research here at Bucknell.
Last month I was invited to represent the United States in the 2009 European Smash Tour. I traveled with USA Athletics International with my teammate Kyleigh McAhren, a rising sophomore, who hails from Napa, Calif. Kyleigh and I spent 10 days in Austria, Italy and Slovenia facing considerable competition, which was an excellent opportunity to gain exposure to European volleyball. Off the court we experienced European culture and the history of its cities, all the while promoting a sense of goodwill. Our travels took us to ancient, modern and romantic sites complete with exotic meals, tours and the adventure of meeting new people. One unexpected highlight for me was to play for the USA Women’s Basketball team when injuries left it a few players short.
At the completion of our tour, I arrived at Bucknell ready to take on a research opportunity that will further my understanding of psychology and sports. I am fortunate to be directed by Dr. John Ptacek who is a specialist in this field. My first task was to sift through a stack of papers that was (no exaggeration) six inches high. The literature concerns previous studies and their relationship between arousal and sports performance. My goal is to develop a study that measures the effect of anxiety on sports performance that I may continue throughout my senior year with a thesis that will provide useful insights for the field.
In the meantime, I am implementing my findings. I wake up daily for 6 a.m. workouts with the varsity athletic trainer Jerry Shreck, my teammate Emily Sawanobori and other varsity athletes. As we push our bodies I think about how my research can help us focus our minds to perform at our highest level.
As for the volleyball team, we may have left in the spring with varied pursuits, but we left with a common bond to get better at volleyball so we can increase our team’s overall success. Our commitment to ourselves and to each other will prepare us to win a Patriot League Championship. We are planning a fantastic year with the continued support of our fans, both at our games and at numerous promotional events. As for our new class, congratulations on your choice for Bucknell! This university will prepare you well. You will have fun, you will work hard and your time will fly by. As it is my last season, I can truly say you will never regret giving your best - both on and off the court!