Premier Sport Psychology is excited to introduce one of our Summer 2018 interns, Laina Nelson!  Read below to learn more about Laina.

Let’s start with a fun fact about yourself.

I absolutely love sports, but I also love music and performing. I have been writing music since I was about 13 years old and bought my first guitar. A couple years ago I even got to record my own music in Nashville.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

That is a tough question. I absolutely love to travel, but I have always really wanted to see Niagara Falls or Bora Bora. For real, I would be open to going anywhere!

What is the best show you’ve watched on Netflix?

I am a total binge-watcher when it comes to Netflix. The most recent shows I have binge-watched would be One Tree Hill, Criminal Minds, or Grey’s Anatomy.

What is your favorite song? Favorite artist?

My favorite artist would hands down be Imagine Dragons! I have had the opportunity to see them perform a few different times and they are incredible. They can totally rock out or strip down their songs to really beautiful acoustic versions. My favorite song pretty much alternates between different songs by them but right now it is probably Whatever It Takes. They have a song for every occasion for sure!

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 probably bring my boyfriend. He is incredibly clever and “outdoorsy” so he would be a great choice. It would be a learning experience for sure, haha. The item I would bring would be my guitar so we could play music on the beach or around the campfire if we managed to build one.

If you could have one superhero power, what would it be?

Teleportation. I believe it would come in handy every now and then because then you can pretty much go wherever you want whenever you want. But then you can also play it cool and choose not too teleport if you’re traveling with others!

When you were in Kindergarten, what did you want to be when you grew up?

In Kindergarten, I wanted to be a famous singer when I grew up. There is a library of home-videos of me singing into a toy karaoke machine at home!

What is one thing that scares you?

Clowns. I have never, and will never, be a fan. I am not even sure why.

Favorite sport to play? How about to watch?

My favorite sport to play is definitely basketball. It was my favorite sport in high school and I really miss getting to play with my team. It is still fun to just go shoot baskets or play pick up games with others. Due to spending my undergraduate years attending North Dakota State University, my favorite sport to watch is probably football. Go Bison!

What is your experience with sports?

I grew up playing sports with my family and friends in the community. Being from a small town, it was one of the most fun ways to hangout and spend time with others. Throughout high school, I was a three-sport athlete and played volleyball, basketball, and softball. In college, I even took classes and was a part of an all-women boxing team. I still look back at my experiences in athletics and think of them as some of the most fun memories I have!

What has drawn you to the sports psychology world?

My family has always gathered around sports. My dad was a basketball and football coach back in the day, so growing up passionate about sports definitely helped direct me. To be honest, I had not heard about sport psychology until I attended college, and I fell in love with the idea of it! Ever since, I have been dedicated to creating my own path and growing in knowledge and experience in the field. I love hearing sport success stories, so the idea of possibly playing a role in someone’s success toward their dream is amazing. I have seen burnout, tough return-to-play situations, performance anxiety, and other psychological phenomenon with my own eyes, so becoming educated in the field and reflecting on these experiences is very interesting to me. Everybody knows the importance of the physical aspect of sport, but to emphasize the importance and integration of the psychological aspect as well is so important now more than ever.

What is your educational background and future aspirations?

I am a recent graduate from North Dakota State University, where I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience. I was determined to make my own path and took some classes within exercise science and athletic training as well to really combine my areas of study and prepare me for sport psychology. I am in the application process for graduate programs and am super excited to further my education in the sport psychology field! My future aspirations are to obtain a PhD and prepare to become a licensed Sport Psychologist either within private practice or in a collegiate setting. With the field growing, I would love to see more programs and practices emerge in areas of the United States that are lacking in mental health services specialized for athletes so struggling athletes will have more access to what they need.