Hi everyone! We’re back on another Thursday to bring you our second post of the More Than a Sport series. We’re so glad you’re here!
This week, we’re spotlighting our Marketing Summer Intern, Jenna Hartung, with a Q&A. Read on to hear all about the impact sports has played in her life (pun intended 🙂).
What sports did you play growing up and what sports do you play currently?
Growing up, I played ice hockey, soccer, dance, and lacrosse. I enjoyed playing ice hockey and lacrosse the most, and continued playing these sports throughout high school.
Currently, I play Division I College Ice Hockey. The last four years I’ve played for St. Thomas University and this upcoming year, I will play at Franklin Pierce University for my fifth year of eligibility.
Do you have a favorite woman athlete? If so, who is it and why are they your favorite?
My favorite woman athlete is my Burnsville high school Varsity coach, Tracy Cassano. She created an exciting atmosphere at practice and made me eager to show up at the rink every day. She cared about us not only as athletes, but individuals, and was very fun to be around. Tracy was an outstanding hockey player and is a former captain for the Minnesota Gophers, where she played in college. I played for Tracy for five years, and she inspired me to continue to play college hockey.
You’ll have your own blog post coming out later this summer on how sports have impacted you in your life. That said, could you spend some time discussing how sports have helped you in other “non-sports” parts of your life?
Sports have been a huge part of my life starting at age four. I have sports to thank for giving me long lasting friendships and life experiences that I can cherish forever. Playing sports has helped me in many ways that I apply to life every single day. After each year of ice hockey, I developed so much as an athlete and as a person.
Specifically, a big takeaway from sports, especially in college, is that I learned how to advocate for myself and how to take good things out of every situation. It takes a lot of built-up courage to ask the “hard questions,” such as what should I work on, and how do I earn a better spot in the line-up. By asking these questions, and having many conversations, I have grown tremendously.
I also learned how to take good things out of a not-so-good situation and have had the opportunity to practice gratitude every single day. I learned how important it is to focus on what you have, rather than what you don’t have.
What do you believe is the greatest challenge most athletes and specifically, women athletes, are facing today? What advice do you have to help combat these challenges?
I think the greatest challenge women athletes face today is self confidence, especially in more competitive leagues. Through my experience, I’ve come to learn that there will always be someone who is bigger, stronger, and faster than me, and when I’m reminded of that, or my teammates are, I offer some of my favorite quotes that help with handling adversity. Some of these quotes include:
“Comparison is the thief of joy.”Do not compare yourself to anyone else because everyone has their own path.
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” The more work you put in on and off the ice/field/court, the better you will feel about yourself and your athletic abilities.
“Event + Reaction = Outcome.” Your response to adversity will determine the outcome of the situation. In other words, how you react to certain situations is crucial.
“If it is out of your hands, it deserves freedom from your mind too.” Focus on the things you can control and spend less and/or no time worrying about what you can’t control. You can control your attitude and effort, you can’t control where you will be in the lineup.
What’s the best piece of advice a coach has offered you?
“Choose joy every day, no matter the situation.” This helped me better manage my emotions as an athlete, and allowed me to feel joy no matter what obstacles came my way.
Thank you, Jenna, for sharing your answers to these questions with the Her Next Play community. Be on the lookout next Thursday when our Program Intern, Sydney, will share some words on how sports has helped her, and others, in the workplace.
Stay well till then, and see you next Thursday!