From Pool to Ph. D


Guest: Hayley Perelman, 4th year doctoral student in clinical psychology at Illinois Institute of Technology

What's Next: Neil and Ant

Hayley Perelman is a former University of Vermont swimmer and also a former classmate of Ant's from Boston University. Hayley gives us great insight into her own personal transition from swimming to psychology and also about the current state of mental health issues that are affecting college athletes during and after their tenure.

Hayley performing in her last college meet at UVM (Distance Butterfly)

Lets get into this awesome episode !

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0:00 Intro with Neil and Ant

2:35 Hayley introduces herself and talk about her swimming career. Distance butterfly is not fun! Neil can attest ; )

3;35 Hayley's area of focus and research is clinical eating disorders and disordered eating among athletes

TAKE AWAY - Athletes over-scrutinize themselves, especially those who are in or were in sports where weight and shape matter for performance. This prevalence in swimming sparked Hayley to pursue helping those athletes !

6:20 Hayley's transition out of swimming and what came next for her.

"It was 3:30 p.m. on Monday in late August and I wasn't at practice. It was really, really tough.!"

7:25 Hayley's first work experience was on campus at Health Services providing counseling.

TAKE AWAY - College campus health service centers are really busy, contrary to popular belief. If you need help walk into health services, you are not alone.

11:30 Hayley's work life balance is extra important because of the intensity of her work... here's what she does for self-care

"Use your supervision. Really find your supervisor who can support you and help you develop skills to leave work at work. Otherwise you'll burn out and not be helpful."

"There is always something to do. Learn to honor when you don't want to do anything. Check in with yourself and see where you are and what you need!."

14:55 Current events recently with athletes and mental health have become more mainstream. Listen to what Hayley has to say about mental health getting some more spotlight.

It gets super interesting here for these next 5 minutes! SO many relatable points for anyone who has been an athlete. When does sport become a risk factor for your health and mental health.

20:30 Hayley jumps into her clinical work here about disordered eating - Over concern about your body, shape and weight is a root of the problem.

Hayley wants to write a book to tackle Neil's question... How to eat for retired athletes!

25:30 Hayley's stance on eating habits and diets is simple- it is to eat regularly, listen to your body and think about adding in as opposed to cutting things out.

27:25 Ant's take away from Hayley's lifestyle and diet advice !

29:00 What will help athletes in Hayley's mind - Have coach introduce athletes to health services, maybe have them lead the team through some interventions! Humanizing and getting exposure out there to athletes is so important.

How much time did you spend in the training room? It became cool and social to get stim, ice, heat, stretched, prehab etc. Imagine if we took a portion of that effort and put it into our minds...

How close are we to seeing more psychologists and mental health staff on college and professional team's staff's ?

Hayley actually knows the psychologist working with the Chicago Blackhawks! Pretty cool !

34:08 Do you know the difference between a sport psychologist and clinical psychologist? Listen to find out here.

What's Next for Hayley? Hayley's goal is for her to combine the two expertise of hers. A clinical psychologist that works with athletes ideally employed by a college or university.

37:15 Hayley's recommendations - books, podcasts, etc. If you're a loyal listener you'll notice the book recommendation from a former professor of ours at BU !

You Guessed It.....Living in the Sweet Spot and another recommendation, Eating Mindfully

39:48 Hayley still swims for a Master's team in Chicago!

41:00 Hayley's advice for student-athletes who's careers are winding down! Very important portion here !

1. Validate that this part of your life is going to be hard because there aren't people out there to help you with that (Besides for us here at What's Next!)

2.Take baby steps, roll with it, you can go slow

3. It is okay to change your mind! Even if it is a year or so later

4. Talk to people going through the same thing and people who have come out of it on the other end . Pick their brain, worst is the don't respond. Best is the point you in the right direction.

If you liked what you heard, here is how you can get in touch with Hayley:

44:45 Outro

#swimming #eatingdisorders #mentalhealth

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