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Kentucky Resilience Lab

Kentucky Resilience Lab

By Kentucky Resilience Lab
Effective performance is preceded by meticulous preparation. Each week join members of the Kentucky Resilience Lab as they work to bring you the content you need to improve various aspects of your mental performance. Whether you compete as an elite athlete, perform as a top musician, require these skills as part of your job, or, are working to improve your performance in any capacity, this is the podcast for you!
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Ep. 5. Social Justice & Sport

Kentucky Resilience Lab

Ep. 28. Athletic Identity
The end of the academic year is nearing which also signals the end of collegiate athletic careers for a number of student-athletes. While athletic careers can end for a variety of uncontrollable reasons as well, regardless of the cause, ending your time as an athlete can be difficult, especially after all of the years dedicated to sport and the athletic identity many of us form over these years. Join Olivia and Mikaela in today’s episode as they discuss athletic identity, factors that impact the salience of this identity, and some of the misconceptions surrounding the process of moving on to the next chapter.
April 21, 2021
Ep. 27. Leadership: Part Two (ft. Jason Cummins)
On this episode, Olivia continues the conversation on leadership with a special guest, Jason Cummins. From the military to NCAA Student-Athlete Experience Leader, Jason discusses what it takes to be a leader. Whether you’re a team captain or an aspiring CEO of a company, this episode is for you.
March 31, 2021
Ep. 26. Imagery
When you listen to our podcast intro can you picture the buzzer-beater moment being described? What does that moment look like in your mind? Creating this mental representation is a form of imagery which is what Olivia and Mikaela focus on in this week’s episode. They discuss different forms of imagery, how and why imagery can help give you that competitive edge, and how they each used it during their own athletic careers. If Happy Gilmore can do it, so can you!
March 24, 2021
Ep. 25. From Gaming to Game Day
Whether you're a bot or a sweat, playing video games with your friends can be incredibly fun. Fun, however, isn't the only thing you can get out of gaming as an athlete. Join Sam on this short episode as she discusses 5 skills that you can develop while playing action video games (like CoD and Fortnite) that can directly benefit you as an athlete. 
March 17, 2021
Ep. 24. Becoming an Iron(wo)man (ft. Katie Adams)
In this episode Kaite interviews Katie Adams – a 2019 Louisville Ironman finisher.  Katie discusses how she remained on track while training, how she overcame mental and physical barriers to training, and what kept her motivated toward the finish line. Kaite and Katie discuss resources for Ironman training and how to approach various aspects of training in order to optimize performance. Could there be a better episode to follow International Women's Day?!
March 10, 2021
Ep. 23. Giving and Receiving Feedback
Join Natalie as she discusses the challenges of giving and receiving constructive feedback. These two important aspects of life are not always easy to do. Thankfully, through the help of mental skills and strategies, we can implement giving and receiving constructive feedback as ways to help us learn and grow along our journey of life, both on and off the field/court.
March 03, 2021
Ep. 22. Game Day Routines
Do you need to listen to a song before you step onto the court? Or maybe you have a pair of lucky socks that you wear every meet-day. What you do to prepare yourself and get into the right mindset to compete is as important as ever. In this week’s episode, Sam and Mikaela break down pre-game routines and discuss what goes into an effective routine to help you figure out helps you perform at your best.
February 24, 2021
Ep. 21. Find Your Flow State
In this episode, Trevor and Natalie discuss the state of peak performance known as flow. Specifically, common characteristics of flow, strategies for increasing it’s likelihood, and personal experiences with this state are explored. Give it a listen and learn how to optimize your performance!
February 17, 2021
Ep. 20. Returning to Play Post-COVID (ft. Zac Tierney)
This episode features a special guest, Zac Tierney. Zac began his professional hockey career after playing collegiate hockey. He was playing overseas when the spread of COVID skyrocketed throughout the world in early March. In this episode, Olivia and Zac talk about the fragility of returning to sport after having COVID, and how athletes can overcome the uncertainty of getting back to play. 
February 10, 2021
Ep. 19. Leadership: Part One
On part one of this two part leadership series, Mikaela and Kaite differentiate between the eight styles of leadership and discuss when and how each style is beneficial when leading a team. As the episode goes on, Mikaela gives personal examples of how she has experienced different leadership styles as a part of the Harvard University Swim and Dive Team, and Kaite poses an interesting question to the audience.  Trust us when we say that you do not want to miss this episode.
February 03, 2021
Ep. 18. Reset Buttons
It can be really hard to let go of mistakes in the heat of the moment, but also hard to move on from stellar performances. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to just push a button and reset? What if we told you that there is a way to mentally reset? Join Sam and Olivia as they talk about different types of reset buttons, when to use them, and why they’re such an important tool to have in your mental performance toolbox.
January 27, 2021
Ep. 17. Motivation
In this episode, Kaite and Natalie discuss the different types of motivation and how they affect performance.  Also in this episode, we give some examples of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and ask our listeners some prompting questions!  Give it a listen and comment your responses!
January 20, 2021
Ep. 16. Energy Renewal
Join Olivia and Natalie as they unpack what it means to possess energy. They will lead you in a breathing exercise with the goal of helping you relax, refocus, and renew your energy. After that, they will provide suggestions for beneficial times to practice the breathing exercise as a way to ultimately help you enhance your performance. We hope you feel rejuvenated after listening to this episode!
January 13, 2021
Ep. 15. Welcome Back to the Lab
Hey everyone! Welcome back for Season 2 of the Kentucky Resilience Lab. We hope you had a great holiday and were able to relax a bit but still take time to practice your mental skills! Today’s episode with Sam and Myles is an introduction to the new season where they’ll briefly review last season, give you a sneak peak of what to expect in this season, introduce a new lab member, and let you know how to stay engaged with everything we’re doing in the lab. Happy Wednesday!
January 06, 2021
Ep. 14. A Season's End
That's a wrap on season 1 of the Kentucky Resilience Lab! Join Kaite as she highlights the incredible episodes from members of the lab, shares what this experience has meant to us, previews what is coming in season 2, and shares a little surprise! Thank you for all those who laughed with us, learned with us, and grew with us. We CANNOT wait to see you for season 2. 
September 30, 2020
Ep. 13. Switching Teams
In this week’s episode, Mikaela interviews Schuyler Bailar, a graduate of Harvard University and a former member of the Men’s Swimming and Diving team. He is also the first trans man to compete for a men’s Division I NCAA team. Schuyler and Mikaela discuss his transition and simultaneous adjustment to being a member of the men’s team, in addition to being a collegiate student-athlete. Schuyler mentions how it’s okay to not know exactly how to balance the competing demands in your life, and how mindset, along with reframing his goals, and prioritizing his happiness helped him find success in and out of the pool. If you want to connect with Schuyler or find out more about him, you can check out his website ( for answers to commonly asked questions and resources, and to set up a free Video Chat Support Session with Schuyler). You can also find him Instagram at @pinkmantaray
September 23, 2020
Ep. 12. Competitiveness in Bikini and Bodybuilding Competitions
In this episode, Kaite interviews Chelsea Kuzel, a Bodybuilding competitor in the Bikini Division, group fitness coach, and personal trainer. Chelsea breaks down how she prepares for competitions, how she maintains motivation and consistency, and even provides some personal notes and insights about her own journey in health and fitness.
September 16, 2020
Ep. 11. Benefits of Music for Sport & Exercise
Music is a gift that inspires us in many areas of our lives. Two of these areas are sport and exercise. Natalie discusses benefits of music for sport and exercise, based on insight from the textbook, Applying Music in Sport and Exercise, written by Dr. Costas Karageorghis. She also explains a few key tips for when and how to use music during sport and exercise. The episode concludes with a few personal examples of how music has benefited Natalie’s sport performance in the past.
September 09, 2020
Ep. 10. Perfectionism
By now, you’ve heard the expression, “practice makes perfect” countless times throughout your life, but how true is it really? Spoiler alert: Not even a little bit. Join Sam as she discusses the idea of perfection, the reality of making mistakes, and the effects of expecting perfection from yourself. In the spirit of trusting our preparation and accepting our mistakes, this episode has a special little twist to it. Tune in to find out what that special twist is!
September 02, 2020
Ep. 9. Gratitude Attitude
Possessing a gratitude attitude has the power to boost your mental well-being and lead you on a more satisfying path of life. Natalie hopes to inspire a feeling of thankfulness within in you as she acknowledges the different types of gratitude, shares research on the benefits of gratitude, applies gratitude to sport, and provides suggestions for how to practice gratitude. She finishes the episode with a gratitude exercise in which she invites listeners to reflect on questions related to what they are thankful for.
August 26, 2020
Ep. 8. Mindfulness
A bad pass leads to a turnover, a missed shot and your team is still behind, the ball runs under your glove and the runner scores. Do you let this unfortunate event impact the rest of your game, or do you accept what happened, and shift your focus to the next play to give yourself the best chance of being successful at the next opportunity? In this podcast, Trevor and Myles talk about the concept of mindfulness. Along with giving examples of how to practice mindfulness, they speak about working to change your relationship to your thoughts and emotions, as well as how to reattach yourself to the present moment you’re in.
August 12, 2020
Ep. 7. No One Else Would Take It, Why Talk To Yourself Like That?
As athletes, we are conditioned to never accept anything but our best. We work tirelessly to improve incremental aspects of our craft with the hopes it is enough to beat out the competition. However, sometimes we become our biggest critics and we risk doing more harm than good. In those moments when you miss a shot you’ve made a million times, the coach moves you to second string, or you can’t seem to find your groove in practice, what are you saying to yourself? Is it kind? Caring? Compassionate? Not likely. This week, tune in with Sam and Kaite to understand the importance of Self-Talk, the impact it has on your game, and potential solutions to helping you leave your negative self-talk behind.
August 05, 2020
Ep. 6. Sport Psychology Buzzwords. What Do They Mean?
We’re all familiar with the term mental toughness, but what does it really mean? In this podcast, Kaite and Myles take the opportunity to give a clear explanation of mental toughness, mental endurance, and mental resilience. Additionally, they’ll offer strategies to help strengthen and maintain each of these aspects of mental performance. This discussion, along with some relevant examples, will help create a distinction between each term and encourage you to identify areas of your mental game that you can improve upon!
July 29, 2020
Ep. 5. Social Justice & Sport
Sports do not exist in a bubble and as much as we would sometimes like to shut out the outside world and just focus on our game, when an athlete is personally affected by what’s going on in the world around them, that can be nearly impossible. With everything that has happened in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, and so many others, we thought it would be important to talk about how social justice relates to sports and impacts athletes. In this episode Mikaela sits down with two guests, Travis Scheadler and Ngozi Musa, to have a conversation about just that. Travis is a former University of Kentucky Sport and Exercise Psychology Master’s student and wrote his master’s thesis on social justice and athlete activism. He will be pursuing his PhD in Social Work at The Ohio State University in the fall and is interested in positive youth development and LGBTQ+ advocacy issues. Ngozi is a former Harvard University Women’s Track and Field team captain and 5-time Ivy League Champion. At Harvard she studied Sociology and African American studies, and has been an active advocate in this current social justice movement. She recently founded her own podcast and platform called ‘Aesthetics and Athletics’ that works to inspire and empower the athlete in every woman. Though we talk about social justice in the context of sports, much of what we discuss can be applied to any area of life. We hope you enjoy this week’s episode and continue to have conversations like these with those around you! If you want to connect with either Travis or Ngozi, you can find them at the accounts below: Travis: @ScheadlerTravis (Twitter) & @travy.6 (Instagram) Ngozi:@ngozimusa & @aesthetics_athletics (Instagram)
July 22, 2020
Ep. 4. SEP Mingles with S&C
Regardless of what level student-athlete you are, you know there will be TOUGH workouts that will require mental toughness to get through. Sometimes, even the toughest battles can be between your ears and how you respond to that adversity mentally, can determine your success throughout that workout. In this episode, Ken talks with his special guest, Alycia Carrillo about the overlap of sport and exercise psychology within strength and conditioning. Alycia also touches on how to incorporate various sport and exercise psychology concepts with student-athletes, as well as your own training. Enjoy!
July 15, 2020
Ep. 3. Playing Without Fans
It goes without saying that we’re in, you guessed it, unprecedented times for sports right now. That said, we still have the tools to perform our best; we just need a little help identifying them! In this episode, Sam and Myles will discuss competing without fans and strategies for controlling arousal. They’ll wrap things up by rehashing the importance of controlling the controllables, especially under these new circumstances. Enjoy!
July 08, 2020
Ep. 2. Cultivating Confidence
This episode begins by emphasizing confidence as one of the most valuable mental skills related to an athlete’s performance. It then provides a list of common misconceptions regarding confidence. Finally, the episode guides listeners through descriptions and examples of four major sources of confidence, along with introducing two other sources that will be discussed in future episodes.
July 01, 2020
Ep. 1. Controlling the Controllables
As an athlete, you don’t operate in a vacuum. Your athletic and personal lives are filled with noise and distractions. Some of what we feel and experience, we have control over. However, a large portion of what we experience is completely out of our hands. In this podcast, Trevor and Myles address the “control the controllables” mindset. Additionally, they touch on how to apply the “control the controllables” mindset to everyday life, even outside of sport, and then give a few examples of high performing athletes who exemplify what it means to control the controllables. Enjoy!
July 01, 2020
Ep. 0. Welcome to the Lab
First and foremost, the co-creators of the Kentucky Resilience Lab want to welcome you. Shannon and Kaite, along with an incredible team have worked to create content to help you become better. If you remain consistent and demand the most of yourself, the possibilities are endless. 
June 22, 2020