Background: Rich Briant interviews Student Athlete Nicky Armitage attends Vistamar School in El Segundo, CA and is going in to his Junior year

Q: How many sports did you play when you were younger?

A: I played 4 Sports, Baseball, Basketball, Soccer, and Football.

Q: Did you feel pressure to play only one sport?

A: As a young kid I played tons of different sports, and I didn’t start feeling the pressure of leaning towards one particular sport until I was about the age of 12. At that point I think I put pressure on myself to decide to pick one sport, as well as the people around me.

Q: What is your favorite sport to play?

A: My favorite sport to play would be Soccer, as a young kid I enjoyed playing it the most mainly because it came more naturally to me compared to all of the other Sports I was playing.

Q: What is your favorite sport to watch?

A: My favorite Sport to watch is Football, I love the intensity that the game brings and how exciting each and every game is.

Q: Did you ever desire to play tackle football? Why didn’t you play football when you were younger?

A: I never felt a desire to play tackle football, partly because I didn’t want to personally, as well as the fact that my parents were worried about the probability of getting injuries and concussions.

Q: What has inspired you to play sport and become the athlete you are today?

A: I think what has inspired to play today is the personal determination to succeed and to play at a high level. As well as the desire to play professionally and to more or less live “the dream”. I think a big part of what has inspired me is also my parents pushing me to be the best that I can be without pushing me too far.

Q: There is the physical side of playing sports and a mental side as well… Do you feel one is more important than the other?

A: I feel that each side of the game is equally important. The mental side of the game is more interesting to look at in my opinion. There are so many different examples of the mental side of the game, for example being hot or cold in an important game and what the effects are on your confidence. As well as when your body tells you to stop, having the ability to keep pushing. I think those examples are just as important as the physical sides of the game like being tall and being physically stronger than someone else.

Q: Have you ever had a mental breakdown or weakness as an individual player? Has your team?

A: Yes I have, and it’s pretty hard to get out of that mindset. Once you start doubting yourself, thats all that you think about. To get out of that situation you have to try to tell yourself to tune out what other people are saying and just believe in yourself and tell yourself that you can fix the problem.

Q: From your experiences, what do you think makes an effective coach?

A: A coach that stays positive, but also knows how to turn the intensity up when needed. You can’t have a coach that is all sunshine and rainbows all the time, or one that it purely negative. It’s important to find the correct balance between both.

Q: What advice would you give a young athlete coming into high school?

A: I would tell them to work hard and be competitive every time you step on to the field, you never know who is going to be watching you at any time. I would tell them to be a leader on and off the field, and to always be respectful to your coaches, because in the end they are helping you achieve goals that wouldn’t be achieved otherwise.

Comment: What are your experiences being a student athlete? Let us know in the comment section..