Mentorship Program and Mental Training Inspires Women’s Basketball Team

Falcons Flourish Under New Program with Guidance from Mental Consultant

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By KAREENA JASSAL

The Langara Falcons women’s basketball team’s disappointing season is being bolstered by a mentorship program and the expertise of a mental performance coach.

Last year, head coach Cameron MacGillivary implemented the mentorship program, which pairs newer, inexperienced players with veteran players.

Third-year guard Katelyn Lafleur is enthusiastic about the mentorship program.

“It just kind of helps the team mesh in a way,” Lafleur said. “We spend so much time together.”

Mental performance consultant positively impacts players

MacGillivary also introduced Toby Kerr as the team’s mental performance coach. Kerr works with the team for about 20 to 30 minutes once per week prior to Thursday practices, while he utilizes key teaching concepts such as visualization, scripting, and self-talk.

Kerr’s positive approach has helped boost the team’s morale, while it has taught the players to stay composed under pressure.

“Sometimes in those high-pressure situations, you can really feel overwhelmed with emotion,” Kerr said.” “And that’s when they make bad decisions or don’t perform to their capabilities.”

Third-year guard Rachel Labrador said Kerr helped her return to play following an injury.

“He helped me build my confidence getting back onto the court,” Labrador said.

According to Kerr, modern college coaches are expected to “take on a lot more of a holistic mindset.” Kerr believes MacGillivary has implemented many positive changes with the team.

“He’s very tactical, does very detailed game plans and really works well with the players,” Kerr said.

You learn more from losing than winning

Although the team is 4-16, Kerr said the team is learning from its losses.

“The record is only one piece of data,” Kerr said. “The more failures you have, the more opportunities you have to get better.”

Labrador said the team did not have a mental performance coach during the previous two seasons.

“It’s been super helpful for me to have someone like him,” Labrador said.

The Falcons defeated Camosun Chargers 57-54 last Saturday at the Langara gym.

 

 

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