On February 21, 2023 we sat down with three elite athletes as they provided student-athletes with actionable insights around mental health and athletics.

Why Do These Conversations Need to Happen Now?

Athletes drill physical skills from an early age but neglect the mental skills that would benefit them in all aspects of their lives. 

Mental health discussions have become more mainstream in athletics, but most fail to provide athletes with actionable insights that they can apply to their own lives going forward.

The speakers assembled for this event have “walked the walk” and are now ready to share their strategies for mentally excelling in sports and beyond.

Strong Bodies and Minds: Students Organize Athlete Mental Health Panel

Check out the Ithacan article written on the event by student-athlete Tess Ferguson

One of the biggest things I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is that the most growing you’ll do is by learning from other people and their experiences. Using other peoples’ experiences to be able to manage my own has been huge in my growth on and off of the field.

Blaze Riorden

Panel Speaker & Professional Lacrosse Player

Our Speakers

Katie Lever

Katie Lever

Former D1 Athlete, Published Author

Katie (M.K.) Lever is a former Division 1 athlete from Western Kentucky University  and current doctoral candidate at the University of Texas at Austin where she studies NCAA discourse and policy. She is also a freelance sportswriter and creative writer on the side. She is the author of a new book Surviving the Second Tier, available now. 

Blaze Riorden

Blaze Riorden

Professional Lacrosse Player

Blaze Riorden led the professional lacrosse league with a 55.8 save percentage with 153 saves, earning him the league’s Oren Lyons Goalie of the Year award. During the 2020 PLL Championship Series, Riorden’s play elevated Chaos from an unthinkable 0-4 group play record all the way to the Championship Game. Riorden had a league-high 119 saves during the Championship Series and was subsequently awarded the Oren Lyons Goalie of the Tournament.

Connor Buczek

Connor Buczek

Cornell University Men's Head Lacrosse Coach

Buczek was a three-time All-American selection, including consecutive first team honors over his final two seasons. He graduated as the top scoring midfielder in Big Red history with 155 points and ranked in the top 20 in Cornell history among all players for goals. He went on to play in the PLL for the cannons and became a 3x Professional Lacrosse All-Star. Buczek was named to the 2019 PLL All-Star Game. He is currently coaching at his alma mater.

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