Sports Counselor

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Hello, and welcome back to Gracie Meets…! To be efficient at a sport, you have to be 100% mentally in the game. But what happens if you aren’t 100% in the game mentally? You could go see a sports counselor to help sort out any problems you have while working on your sport! Take a listen to the awesome advice of Ms. Adrienne Langelier, a sports counselor, in this new episode!

Gracie Meets...
Sports Counselor
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Show Music: 2019 07 25 cello pizz 01 and 250109 rhodes 02 by Morusque used under Creative Commons License CC BY.  No alterations were made to the original composition. 

Cover Art: Kyleigh Kinsey. Instagram: @ato._.noodle

TRANSCRIPT

Gracie Solomon  0:11 

Hello and welcome back to Gracie Meets…! One of the most used statistics in sports is that 90% of an athlete’s performance is mental. The problem is that 100% of practice is spent working on the physical aspects related to their sport. To help put this into perspective, you can take the rise and fall of Tiger Woods. He was a great golfer, but then some problems popped up in his life which caused him to not focus on golf. Those problems ended up being the downfall of his pro golfer career. To talk about the mental aspects of sports, I invited Ms Adrienne Langelier, a sports counselor. Tell the listeners a little bit about yourself.

Adrienne Langelier  0:55 

I’m Adrienne Langelier, I am a licensed professional counselor and sports psychology consultant. I’m based in the Houston area and College Station areas in Texas. And besides that, I am a runner traveler, dog lover, native Texan, fighting Texas Aggie class of 2007. I’m a lot of things.

Gracie Solomon  1:16 

How would you describe your job to a teenager? Like if a teenager walked up to you and asked, how would you describe it?

Adrienne Langelier  1:24 

I would say it’s awesome. Well, actually, well, yes, it is awesome. But a little bit more broadly, is I help people on the continuum of mental health through peak performance. So you don’t have to be struggling to come work with me but my job is to take a good person and help them become even better by learning some tools and strategies to manage your mind better and cope with daily stressors, whatever that is. A lot of times that lends towards sports performance, but not always, sometimes we’re just trying to just help the individual just, you know, kind of reach their potential and cope better. So every case looks a little bit different.

Gracie Solomon  2:12 

So what does a typical day in your office look like?

Adrienne Langelier  2:16 

Okay, well I usually arrive at about nine or 10 after I work out and normally I like to allow a little bit of time beforehand to answer emails, finish up some progress notes, return calls, sometimes I just like to relax and sip some coffee for a little bit and settle in. And then I usually, like today, I will be seeing clients from about noon to six. Normally I like to give myself a little bit of a break, kind of forgot today. But my, my clientele varies from, you know, just kind of your typical high school student through elite athletes and at my College Station in office, I see more adults, as well. I see a lot of faculty members at the universities and everything like that. But we work on various topics and I will be doing I think it’s about 50/50 still because of the pandemic, I will be doing some zoom calls and some in person meetings. And I think I’ve got a volleyball player coming in, a wrestler. What else am I seeing? A former swimmer. I mean, we’ve got, you know, all kinds of different backgrounds, and that’s kind of what makes it cool. So I usually finish up at about six or seven on most weeknights. I try to take a little bit of time off here and there. But uh, yeah, it’s we come in, and usually I’m pretty busy. And on a day where I’m not as heavy with clients, I do a fair amount of writing. I write for a website or two. I’ll do whatever articles due that month. I’ll work on that or some admin tasks, again, some notes, emails, I communicate a lot in this job.

Gracie Solomon  4:07 

So I’m looking around your office right now, and I know that the listeners can’t see your office because it is a podcast. There is a lot of Olympians I can see or like going to the Olympic trials. So who all have you helped?

Adrienne Langelier  4:26 

Okay. I can’t specify who because of the ethical code. But what I can tell you is something that is this is one of the coolest part two, my job is watching people who are kind of on the edge of the next level, give everything they have in pursuit of their goals. So given that it’s 2020, and this was supposed to be an Olympic year, I was working pretty heavily with some athletes, mostly in the swim world. That’s where I got my start, actually. I’m not a swimmer, I’m a runner, but I, you know, see a lot of swimmers just because of the demands of the sport is I help people prep to qualify, or prep to compete in Olympic Trials events, but we’ll have our day in 2021 and I’m excited.

Gracie Solomon  5:18 

What do you think makes your job unique? What makes it not a normal job?

Adrienne Langelier  5:23 

What makes it not? Oh, gosh, almost everything. Well, I’m in private practice and right now I don’t have a staff. It’s just me so I work a lot. I think it’s just the sheer range of people that I get to help and kind of the sheer range of topics that I get to cover. You know it we may be talking about anxiety and depression one day to Okay, the Olympic Trials just got postponed. What are we going to do about that and it does require a certain degree of flexibility and you have to constantly be learning. But I think it’s like I get to, you know, every day learn about people, you know, hopefully my, my clients learn from me as well is I get to watch people grow on a daily basis. And I think that’s really, really cool.

Gracie Solomon  6:20 

That’s cool. Yeah. What kind of schooling or more there’s probably schooling that goes into this.

Adrienne Langelier  6:28 

A bit.

Gracie Solomon  6:30 

It’s like a medical job.

Adrienne Langelier  6:31 

Yeah, somewhere. Here on my cluttered wall. We’ve got a couple pieces of paper that I had to go get.

Gracie Solomon  6:38 

So what kind of schooling was it?

Adrienne Langelier  6:40 

Okay, I have a Bachelor of Science in psychology. Obviously, a bachelor’s degree in some sort of psychological or social sciences will set you up really well. To I think kinesiology or exercise science majors can also be a fit for a position like this, especially when You know, working with people of athletic backgrounds, but you need to learn counseling skills. So I did I have a master’s degree in clinical psychology. And I think that has given me a lot of flexibility. Because a lot of times when we see issues with performance, it’s manifesting in the performance of the athlete, but they may be struggling with something personal, psychological. And we have to address that first before we can even touch Okay, what’s happening on the field, the pool, the court, you know, whatever it is with that respective sport. So I have that I have a master’s degree and I also completed some coursework, additionally to that master’s degree, to become a licensed professional counselor in the state of Texas. So it’s basically it’s about two I think I was in school about two and a half, three years total post bachelor’s and I was able to sit for my licensing exam. Oh, so scary. It was such a nerve-wracking situation. Because I was just like, Okay, this test determines if I work or not. So I kind of had to apply some of the mental skills that I teach people in that situation, but sit for that and it is a 1500 hour internship under an experienced professional, they’re called licensed professional counselor supervisors. I had a I had a really great one. And, you know, you’re still working, but you’re learning under a supervisor for the 1500 hours takes about a year and a half, two years, then you’re able to apply for full licensure. So it was you know, a journey roughly of, you know, counting college, I mean we’re looking at seven, eight years. But I think it’s I think it needs to be because and we’re working humans have all kinds of backgrounds and experiences and we got to really sharpen those skills and also become aware of ourselves too, so that we can best serve those that come in.

Gracie Solomon  9:12 

That’s a very long process.

Adrienne Langelier  9:15 

It is, but it, believe it or not, it didn’t seem to go by that slowly, because you’re constantly, you know, you just have to focus on what portion of the journey that you’re on. And because I mean, during the internship, I mean you’re practicing is just you kind of have this nice little safety net of a supervisor, and you’re kind of working under their license and not yours. So, for me, that was kind of scary. I’m like, Oh, God, I better not mess up. But yeah, I mean, it’s long, but I can’t say I’d change anything.

Gracie Solomon  9:50 

Well, is there any advice that you wish you had had whenever you were starting this career?

Adrienne Langelier  9:56 

Ooh, that’s a good question. I think probably is just because I remember when I was younger, you know what I wanted to do from day one, when they put that piece of paper in my hand was I want to work in private practice. And I wish somebody would have told me that, okay, when you start out your career is not going to look like your vision necessarily. But that doesn’t mean that you’re not going to be able to do the work that you want to do eventually, there’s just different steps. And it’s kind of a process to where you get to a point where you’re experienced and you have a client base and all that kind of stuff, because that was kind of scary when I was younger. I was like, I wanted to work with athletes, and why am I doing this, but I was able to sharpen my counseling skills and learn more about the clinical piece so when I was fully ready, I could marry the two and take my experience as an athlete and also, you know, be able to work with the whole person.

Gracie Solomon  11:04 

Yeah, I think that’s good for teenagers to know because it takes time to get to where you want to be.

Adrienne Langelier  11:12 

Yeah, what it’s and I think don’t give up is the biggest thing is anything valuable career wise, you don’t want straight out of school is you know, something, you want to make sure that, you know, it’s meaningful and everything like that, and you’re really passionate about it. If you are passionate about what it is that you want to do, then the work involved really is not going to be a very big deal and it’s going to take care of itself.

Gracie Solomon  11:41 

What is your greatest achievement in this profession?

Adrienne Langelier  11:45 

Oh, wow. Um, greatest achievement. I was looking at that when you sent me the notes and I was just like, I don’t know. Um, okay. I think, I mean, watching athletes I consulted with in 2016 for the Rio Olympics, watching them just through my computer screen, watching them compete was really, really cool. And seeing, you know, everything we talked about for the year prior or whatever, you know, kind of come to fruition for them, and I’m not gonna lie, like I was feeling nervous for them, and everything watching it. So, I think that’s been, you know, probably one of the more rewarding things I’ve been a part of. And I think another achievement is just getting, just being able to kind of work a little bit more on the national stage. I write articles for a website called Believe in the Run on the psychology of writing. And I’ve been invited to speak at a handful of universities And I spoke at the Southwest Athletic Trainers conference, which that was really cool because I got flown out there. So having an all-expense paid trip to go speak is a neat experience, so I recommend it to anybody who wants to specialize in a profession. So that’s a lot of different achievements, but that’s the best I could answer that question.

Gracie Solomon  13:26 

I mean, all achievements, like, they’re pretty big. So

Adrienne Langelier  13:31 

Hey, I get to show up here and do what I like to do every day. So that in itself is an achievement.

Gracie Solomon  13:37 

 And I mean, celebrate the little things.

Adrienne Langelier  13:39 

Oh, absolutely.

Gracie Solomon  13:41 

 Well, thank you for letting me interview you. It was really fun.

Adrienne Langelier  13:44 

You’re so welcome. Thank you for having me.

Gracie Solomon  13:47 

Miss Adrienne gave some great advice that teenagers nowadays really need to hear. It takes time to get to where you want to be, but it also takes hard work. In high level athletics, competitors are always Looking for the upper hand? Knowing a competitor isn’t 100% mentally in the game could be a game changer. No normal person could be trusted with such critical information while trying to get an athlete refocused, but then again, show me a normal teenager. Thanks for listening.

Thanks for tuning in. If you like Gracie Meets…, subscribe so you can listen every time a new episode is dropped and follow Gracie Meets… on Instagram (@gracie.meets). Tune in next Saturday for a creative interview with an artist.