Article by Phoenix writer Griffin Noumair ’24:
On Thursday, November 10th, the Kellenberg cross country team was treated to a Zoom presentation featuring internationally renowned Sports Psychologist, Dr. Ralph Vernacchia at 3:30 pm in Room 211. Vernacchia, the author of Inner Strength and Coaching Mental Excellence, and the Sports Psychologist for the 2000 Olympic Team, zoomed in to talk to the young athletes. He was also a professor and coach at Western Washington University, and happened to coach Mr. Brown, the current coach of the girls cross country team at Kellenberg.
He stressed the importance of a mental side of sports, which includes a good attitude, quality rest, and overcoming fear. It is vital to establish a good attitude well before a race, as it can make or break an athlete’s performance. Coach Brown makes sure to place an emphasis on the mental side during the season, as he said “The mental aspect is just as important as the physical training.”
Dr. Vernacchia’s advice will assuredly benefit the runners not only during this season but also for the rest of their athletic careers.