Mental toughness & injury prevention

Health and Sport Sciences student researchers (left to right) Molly Gilliken, Alyssa Hudson, and Zoe Beck with Clinical Associate Professor Andreas Stamatis at the American College of Sports Medicine Conference.

March 18, 2024

By Jenny Recktenwald

Undergraduate researchers present their findings at prestigious national conference

Under the guidance of Clinical Associate Professor Andreas Stamatis, undergraduates in Health & Sport Sciences showcased their groundbreaking research at the 2024 American College of Sports Medicine conference in Waco, Texas. 

Senior Molly Gillikin’s study, “Tailored Injury Prevention in NCAA Women’s Soccer: An 18-Year Team-Specific Epidemiological Analysis,” delves into the critical need for customized injury prevention strategies in collegiate sports. Her research identifies common injuries, their frequencies and the most affected body parts, offering invaluable insights for enhancing player well-being and career longevity. 

First-year student Alyssa Hudson explored “Machine Learning Analysis of Chronotype and Mental Toughness in Predicting Sleepiness Among Collegiate Dancers: Preliminary Findings.” Utilizing machine learning techniques, Alyssa’s work evaluates the influence of chronotype and mental toughness on sleepiness levels, aiming to identify at-risk dancers for targeted health interventions.

Zoe Beck, also a first-year student, presented “Enhancing Mental Toughness in Dancers: An Intervention Study with Longitudinal Analysis and Clustering Approaches,” a study that highlights the significant impact of mental toughness interventions on dancers’ performance. By examining score changes over time and identifying distinct response patterns, Beck’s research provides a basis for individualized mental toughness training, crucial for achieving peak performance in the arts. 

Presenting at a prestigious national conference highlights not only the college’s dedication to research excellence but also the critical role of alumni and community support. The students’ travel was made possible by contributions to the college’s Annual Fund, a portion of which provides funding  for experiential learning. Says Stamatis, “As they return from the conference enriched with new knowledge and experiences, we are reminded of the impact that collaborative efforts can have on the future of sports medicine and health sciences.”


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