Study tips from the Ravens’ mental-skills coach
Although her specialty is helping athletes prepare mentally for game time, Shaunna Taylor also works with people with work stress or other anxieties. She has worked as a mental-skills coach with the Ravens women’s hockey and soccer teams, with the Nordic ski team and with individual athletes in basketball and fencing. When combining school and full-time work, “preparation is the best defence and offence,” Taylor says. She advises returning students to:
- Make a schedule and stick to it
- Set realistic goals that are just out of reach
- Make goals concrete by writing them down and posting them somewhere visible
Taylor encourages mid-career alumni who are returning to school to take on stress-reducing activities such as exercise, yoga, reading and deep breathing. The latter is especially helpful if your last exam was long ago and you fear blanking out. In addition to her training duties, Taylor speaks regularly at conferences and events, has contributed to a new book called Taking the Lead: Strategies and Solutions From Women Coaches (University of Alberta Press) and is completing a PhD in sports psychology.