Premier Sport Psychology is excited to welcome one of our Summer 2018 interns, Michael Hinckley! Read below to learn more about Michael.
Let’s start with a fun fact about yourself.
I am the middle child of 7 with 3 brothers and 3 sisters.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I would love to visit some of the sights in the Austrian/Swiss Alps region.
What is the best show you’ve watched on Netflix?
What is your favorite song? Favorite artist?
Favorite song right now 1985 by J. Cole but favorite artist in Kendrick Lamar.
You are being sent to a deserted island you can bring one person and one item, who and what would you bring, and why?
I would bring with me Edward “Bear” Grylls because he would know how to survive in the most comfortable way on top of serving as a pretty interesting person to live with. The item would be a photo album of every person and every place that I love back at home because it would provide me with the emotional connection to my past life that I would desperately need.
If you could have one superhero power, what would it be?
Invisibility. I would love to get to experience a number of things without people/animals knowing I was present.
When you were in Kindergarten, what did you want to be when you grew up?
NBA player. Most likely not happening at this point, but I always keep my phone on during Draft Night.
What is one thing that scares you?
I am very afraid of drowning. The feeling of almost drowning makes me extremely uncomfortable.
Favorite sport to play? How about to watch?
I actually love playing soccer and felt like I enjoyed it more than basketball at times in high school. I love watching hoops, but more so NCAA and the Olympics than the NBA.
What is your experience with sports?
I grew up playing every sport I possibly could, ranging from basketball to swimming to tennis, among others. I was a serious soccer player before I transitioned to devoting more of my efforts to basketball around the start of high school. I played soccer, basketball, and lacrosse (2 years) in high school and eventually committed to Dickinson College for basketball. I love the aspect of competition that a sport brings and I’ve always naturally craved the feeling of winning in anything, whether it’s a league championship or a game of checkers. Also, as I’ve gotten older I’ve come to appreciate and enjoy the relationships and closeness with others that a team sport fosters. My best friends from high school and college are, for the most part, teammates of mine who share all the positive, negative, and challenging experiences of playing on a team together.
What has drawn you to the sports psychology world?
I became interested in psychology in general after I took a social psych course my freshman year of college, and then I first heard about sports psychology during an internship panel the following year. I began reading more books about the subject and contacted various sports psychologists to ask about their careers and the field in general, and then eventually began to believe that I could be successful in this profession. Once I became aware of sports psychology issues, I began to see that I had some level of performance anxiety/nervousness, and also noticed a lot of other issues in my teammates and peers. I know of some athletes that had to take time off from school because of mental health issues, and so I have seen there is a clear need for mental health professionals to work with student-athletes. It is very encouraging to see some of these top athletes coming forward and acknowledging their personal struggles with mental health, which helps to normalize others’ experiences and show that everyone, at any level, is susceptible to mental health issues.
What is your educational background and future aspirations?
I will be graduating from Dickinson College in 2019 with a degree in Psychology and Economics. I plan to attend a master’s program in Sports Psych immediately following graduation, and then am hoping to enroll in a doctoral program following that. I would love to become a licensed psychologist and be able to work in either a college athletic department setting or a private practice setting much like Premier. From all accounts, it seems as though the field is growing quickly now and there is rapidly becoming more and more acceptance and promotion of providing mental health services and performance enhancement counseling to athletes at all levels. It is encouraging both from a future employment standpoint and from a mental health destigmatization perspective.