posted on March 4, 2021
My name is Wyatt and I am one of the interns at UF and as I am sure some of you know me by now, I go to school at Robert Morris University. I am majoring in Psychology with a concentration in Sports and a minor in Education. I have been here a little over a month now, and I feel like a stormtrooper that decided to try and become a Jedi master. I am sitting here trying to figure out how to turn the lightsaber on while everyone else is using the force to throw people around.
The staff all know that exercise science is not my background, so they make sure they simplify things for me to understand (turn that lightsaber on). Some of you might be wondering, “Then why are you here?” Well, psychology and exercise science kind of go hand in hand. I say that because not too long ago I learned to increase maximum force and velocity; psychological techniques can help increase both. The psychological techniques that enhance motivation also increase effort, and effort is closely linked to motor unit recruitment. Another example of this is most people know that anxiety also plays a factor in performance. If you are going to hit a PR you will most likely experience cognitive and/or somatic state anxiety. By learning arousal regulation techniques, you can help keep anxiety at a level where you perform your best, and you can go on hitting those PRs.
I plan to become a sports psychologist to help athletes mentally but learning the exercise science background gives me a whole other set of tools to use. When dealing with a team’s lack of progress, instead of a mental aspect creating the challenge, it could come down to the program they are on. This internship is very hands-on, so this experience is helping me come out of my introverted shell and become comfortable with coaching people. During the week, Anthony and I get to help out with training sessions, sometimes with college athletes or other times with a powerful class. Training athletes is a great opportunity for me because that is the area I want to start off working with: high school to college-age athletes.
Since interning here, there has never been a dull moment. I wake up looking forward to coming in, learning, and hanging out with everyone. The staff here really knows their stuff and are diverse in the field of exercise science. I have never heard of a gym having former college strength and conditioning coaches, a physical therapist, a soon-to-be physician, a massage therapist, and someone who does research in exercise science. On top of that, they are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. Union Fitness needs to adapt the old slogan from Olive Garden- “When you’re here, you’re family.” Since the start of my internship here, I feel that I have been accepted into a family of people motivated to help others and better their knowledge of exercise science. I feel lucky to be a part of it. If you ever want to talk and you do not find me in the office, I am probably doing the splits, hanging upside down, or swinging across the monkey bars.