Name: Kia Williams
Major: Speech Language Pathology
Sport: Women’s basketball
Position: Guard, Forward
Why is it so important for you to play basketball, to be an athlete?
Basketball is something I’ve been doing since I was a little girl. It definitely is a big part of me and I’ve grown to love the game so much. Being an athlete is hard, but I love the challenges it brings. Being an athlete you work harder than you ever thought you were capable of working. You push past the tiredness and doubt that you can do something and keep pushing yourself to be your own best competition.
How do you prioritize time and maintain mental health?
By scheduling specific times to engage in my different responsibilities such as my studies, practice time or even social and down time where I’m able to recharge. I definitely depend on basketball as my escape sometimes. When I just play without thinking too much and do what comes naturally, that’s when mentally I feel in a sense “free,” as cliché as that sounds.
How do you keep yourself motivated during game when coming out with a loss or mistake?
When making a mistake I tell myself constantly to focus on the “next play.” If I were to constantly dwell on the fact that I messed up or that someone else messed up no one would ever move on; however, there would be a constant sense to make up for the mistakes made, simply creating more mistakes. “Don’t be too tough on yourself,” in other words, is something I try to remember. Encouraging one another—especially when we see one of our teammates is getting down on themselves—is really important for the morale of the entire team whether we’re winning or losing, making mistakes or playing with perfection.
What strategies or game plan is needed to play better or come out with a win?
As a team, we need to stick together and stay focused. It’s hard enough having a team that is small in number, causing us to tire more easily and quickly; however, if we get tired mentally we might as well quit. While we do want to win, I’d say our ultimate goal is to hold each other accountable physically but most importantly mentally as the game of basketball in my opinion is 90 percent mental. We have to believe in ourselves and be confident that we have what it takes to be successful. We have to be willing to work hard and endure even in the hardest moments. Having a team of individuals who you trust to have your back so you know you’re not alone makes it a whole lot easier.