My name is J.D. Wyborny and I am a Recovering Student-Athlete

By May 13, 2015 No Comments

I played college baseball at Denison University, Go Big Red. Like a lot of athletes, I focused nearly all my attention on my sport/ Which included time I should have spent studying and developing a life outside of baseball.  Everyone knows that their playing career ends at some point, but no one ever believes it when it happens. It’s kind of like a defense mechanism I used to use as a child. If I can’t see you, you can’t see me.

After our season abruptly ended, I scored an internship with a company called Baseball Info Solutions.  My role was to chart and score Major League Baseball games, so they could analyze certain statistics. Not a very good transition away from baseball. Looking back, it was obvious I was still holding on to the dream of either playing or working for a MLB club. Besides just holding on to a dream, I was starting to act and feel differently. Here is what I was experiencing:

  • Inability to make friends outside of baseball
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Personality changes
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Difficulty concentrating

I was also having reoccurring nightmares that involved:

  • Being late to practice or a game
  • Forgetting my jersey or equipment to a game
  • Being yelled at in the dugout
  • Forgetting how to play baseball

Even though my father is an accomplished psychologist and former student-athlete himself, I did not realize that these were perfect examples of the effects of a traumatic event.  The most surprising fact is that every one of my teammates has had similar dreams and issues. Now it’s may, spring has sprung, and college athletics is coming to an end. Abruptly or not, a lot of student-athletes are going through the same experience. This is one of the reasons why I love working at Game Theory Group. I am still passionate about baseball, which is ok, but I am more passionate about helping student-athlete transition into college and ultimately into the workforce. Soon Game Theory Group will announce a new Next Play Pro assessment, focused on identifying problem areas associated with this ‘traumatic’ transition. My question, where was this in 2008?