Timm Earns Recognition for Story on Pacific Student-Athlete

Feature on Brittney Anderson's 2012 senior thesis draws notice of Division III

The Pacific University sports information office has been recognized for an outstanding feature story published in April 2012. 

The story—“Does Academics, Perfectionism Cause Division III Athletes to Burn Out?”—was written by Sports Information Director Blake Timm ’98 and details the similarly titled senior thesis by Brittney Anderson ’12.

The story follows Anderson’s experiences as a basketball player at Pacific University, including the ongoing battles with knee injuries that prompted her thesis topic.

“When I got hurt, I just kept playing because I didn’t want to let my team down,” Anderson told Timm. “That’s the kind of person I am. Even in the classroom, I take on more than I can handle sometimes because I want it to be done right.”

Anderson wondered if other Division III athletes felt the same self-induced pressure to perform, on the field and in the classroom, and if that perfectionism leads to burnout.

Beyond the answers in her research (academic motivation and traits of perfectionism are not significant predictors of burnout), Anderson rediscovered her love of basketball.

“…She sat down and watched herself on tape and she put her perfectionist tendencies aside,” Timm wrote. “Instead of breaking down defenses, evaluating how she ran the offense or transition, she just took in how much fun she was having on the court. Reliving past glories, even from earlier in the season, lit the fire again.”

Timm’s story won top honors from NCAA Division III and the Division III College Sports Information Directors of America (D3SIDA), who jointly sponsor a quarterly recognition program highlighting outstanding work by sports information offices to portray the division’s model of intercollegiate athletes. 

“Athletics communicators play a crucial role in promoting the Division III model of intercollegiate athletics, which encourages student-athletes to ‘follow their passions and develop their potential,’” wrote NCAA Division III Vice President Daniel Dutcher in an announcement of the award. “This outstanding work by the Pacific University sports information office is a laudable example of the ways in which our member institutions portray the Division III philosophy as it is practiced on our campuses.”

Posted by Jenni Luckett (jluckett@pacificu.edu) on Jul 2, 2012 at 1:32 PM

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