Benched is an UNCUT Podcast which aims to give female student-athletes their rightful voice in the world of college sports. By prioritizing the overlooked and the overshadowed, we shine a light on the challenges and stories pertaining to women in college sports. As male sports typically take center stage in the public eye, women's athletics ride the bench. It's our job to change that narrative.
Navigating the athlete 'bubble' in a COVID season
UNC Women’s Gymnastics captain, Lily Dean, joins Benched Host Jules Micchia to talk about the struggles of the “bubble” season. Jules and Lily discuss the isolation of this year’s season (11:44), how their leadership roles have changed (8:19), how their teams have dealt with adversity (12:30), and how their perspectives and gratitudes for their sports have changed (29:36).
Heather O’Reilly: transition from World Champion to motherhood
Former U.S. Women’s National Team Player and UNC Assistant Soccer Coach Heather O’Reilly joins Benched Host Jules Micchia to discuss how Heather has stayed involved in soccer after her professional retirement through coaching (5:54) and as a sports analyst (11:53). Earlier, her personal accomplishments of playing in college and professionally (2:02) and the coaching dynamics in women’s soccer (9:11). Finally, Heather shares how she made the decision to start a family (16:39) and provides a special piece of advice to young women today (24:36).
Courtney Banghart, a trailblazer for women’s coaching
UNC Women’s Basketball Coach Courtney Banghart joins Benched Host Jules Micchia to reveal what the pathway to seeing more diversity in power positions in sports looks like (28:35). Earlier, a leadership program for student athletes at Princeton University (13:55), an outline of her coaching philosophies (17:40) and auditioning for the amazing race (5:46)? Yes, you read that correctly. Finally, Coach Banghart tells us her #1 goal in her coaching career (39:01).
Beyond the game of UNC field hockey's first Black captain
UNC Field Hockey captain Courtnie Williamson joins Benched Host Jules Micchia to discuss Courtnie’s journey from red shirt to captain (3:05) and later, what made 2020 one of the best years in history (21:50). But first, how does she keep her team motivated during COVID-19 (8:03) and what’s this new business venture for social justice and student athletes (11:00)? Finally, how BLM backlash and unfortunate surprise on the field only makes her stronger.
Sports psychology and performance
UNC Sports Psychologist Hayley Hughes joins Benched Host Jules Micchia to have a conversation about mental health and its impact on athletic performance (12:55), but not without hearing about Hayley’s transition from being a hockey player in Canada to being a first-gen student-athlete at Cornell (2:07). They cover the difference between female and male individual and team sports in sports psychology (12:55) and how to battle the cycle of these specific mental health stigmas (24:21). Later, a covid baby? (35:39) ** Resources discussed include:Resources for Black-Student Athletes:https://heelsathome.web.unc.edu/social-justice-2/mental-health-resources-for-black-student-athletes/Resources for White Allies:https://heelsathome.web.unc.edu/social-justice-2/social-justice/Resources for student-athletes:https://www.onlinemswprograms.com/resources/mental-health-resources-for-athletes/Resources for athletes and coaches:http://www.ncaa.org/sport-science-institute/supporting-student-athlete-mental-wellness**
Intuitive eating to keep diet culture out of sports culture
UNC Sports Nutritionist Rachel Manor joins Benched Host Jules Micchia to discuss the anti-diet approach (4:28) and a later, how to keep diet culture out of sports culture (23:55). But first, the barriers to intuitive eating for athletes (7:06), the foundation of this approach - self care (8:48) - and how to fight pressure on social media (18:34).** If you are struggling with one of the discussed topics, please seek assistance. Resources include: https://www.instagram.com/uncsportsnutrition/?hl=enhttps://www.unc.edu/discover/well-said-how-to-achieve-your-weight-loss-resolution/https://christyharrison.com/blog/what-is-diet-culturehttps://www.intuitiveeating.org/our-books/ https://christyharrison.com/book-anti-diet-intuitive-eating-christy-harrison https://www.med.unc.edu/psych/eatingdisorders/research/participate-in-a-study/https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/screening-tool ***