California State University, Chico
November 15, 2018
Create and Go is excited to announce Maya Trajkovski as the winner of The 2018 Design Your Future Scholarship for $2,000. Maya attends CSU, Chico as an undergraduate student majoring in Kinesiology/Sport Psychology. Candidates had to craft and submit an essay detailing potential blog ideas.
Maya’s Winning Essay
Motivation Station: An Intense and Generalizable Tool for Athletes
Five years ago, I was standing in front of my dancers watching them perform a piece I had choreographed for them with tenacious conviction. Witnessing their growth in technique and understanding of difficult artistic material created a strong teacher-student bond between us. They moved me every day through their work ethic and openness to learn, but it hadn’t always been that way. These dancers were competition dancers. This meant that their level of stress and anxiety was enormous—especially around finals. Not only did the students want to win, they wanted to impress me, their parents, and the studio owner; the anxiety was high.
Anxiety has been crippling in the ways of personal expression, and I learned through dance how to communicate my worries and fears that were otherwise repressed, in a socially acceptable and safe format. But how did I get to this conclusion? The answer was through the safety of the environment. My dance instructors had always made me feel safe; through this, I was able to open up the most vulnerable parts of me and display them for others through my bodily movement. It was freeing. Dance acted as a negative reinforcement contingency where the movement released my anxious feelings of tension. I wanted this for my dancers, so we came up with many safe space activities, created an environment open to conversation, and built rapport in the classroom.
My blog, Motivation Station, will be a motivational platform for coaches and teachers of athletes and aerobic artists (dancers, gymnasts, acrobats, etc.) to find resources and tools to help them create a safe and welcoming environment to then incorporate tools targeting self-doubt, anxiety, confidence enhancement, or any type of need. My main focus will be anxiety and anxiety-reduction methods. Currently, as a Master’s student, my thesis concentrates on Mindfulness Meditation Training for Sport (MMTS) to enhance performance and reduce performance-related stress/anxiety. From this, I want to create successful intervention-based activities generalizable for athletes everywhere.
I would like to use peer-reviewed articles to support my blog posts. Everything will be written in an easy to read and follow format. I will use connections with people in my field (sport psychologists) to review posts and the interactive games/activates so that they can be generalized for teams or individuals to do on their own. Hopefully, as the blog continues to grow and attract like minds, I would like to have a large contact list of experts across the nation. There are so many professors and practitioners of this type of research that have only focused
I think this blog would be great to use in college athletic programs because these students are proven to have a higher degree of anxiety. Going to a college that is hundreds of miles away, being thrown into a vigorous schedule including classes, team practices, largely viewed games: all fall heavily on a student’s stress factor.
I think it is of utmost importance for people to decide their own future because autonomy is an integral key to success. In today’s world, it is easy to become a docile body. This term was coined and defined by Michael Foucault: one that may be subjected, used, transformed, and improved only through a strict regimen of disciplinary acts. This simply means that a human can be made successful through rules. We see this in schools, sports, and many other extracurricular activities. The problem with this is that once someone is no longer in a strict system, they don’t know how to act. How the world is set up, it is so easy to fall into a schedule that is picked by someone else; there is a lack of autonomy. Creating autonomous students in high school results in students creating their own successful, happy, and fulfilled future. As a dancer, since the age of three I have been in structure dance classes at least five days a week. The dance world is strict; there are rules that must be followed. That is just the way it is. I danced in a studio setting from the age of 3 to the age of 18, and then in a university setting since then. I have always been a docile body. I did not realize this until recently in my sociology class after learning about Foucault. Luckily, I have used a perceived-autonomy outlook. Since I was also a dance teacher, I had to create a sense of autonomy and it has helped me create this positive future for myself. The fact that I was also the oldest of four, often in charge of my sisters and even my cousins, also instilled the roots of autonomy deeper in myself.