Happy Friday! This week, I'm highlighting Katie Lindelow, former Indoor and Beach Volleyball at LSU! Katie earned SEC Academic Honor Roll in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. She was a member of the SEC Community Service Team, and earned SEC Defensive Player of Week honors in 2014. Katie was also voted a team captain, and was voted by LSU's student-athletes to receive the Mikey's Leadership Award for her abundant leadership and overall success. Katie has some serious gold nuggets of information for all you aspiring college athletes!! Listen and up and take what she says to heart!
GamePlan: If you could sum up your college athletic experience in one word, what would it be? Katie: Giving
GamePlan: What is a lesson you learned while playing college athletics?
Katie: Prioritizing things, people, and experiences so I could give the most of myself to what was most important. These might have changed throughout my career but being able to manage my time helped me to succeed on and off the court.
GamePlan: What is one of the hardest moments you had to get through while playing college sports, and how did you get through it?
Katie: Losing. Prior to college, I didn’t have to deal with losing very often (this is probably true with most athletes who make it to the collegiate level). Suddenly, we were losing games, I wasn’t playing very much, and injuries became an issue. Luckily, my coaches instilled this work ethic and confidence in all of us that helped to get through losing volleyball games. That attitude translated over to overcoming losses in life as well. While I still struggle with losing matches (thanks overly competitive nature), I am not shaken by losses off the court because of the environment my coaches and teammates created.
GamePlan: What is one of the hardest moments you had to get through while going through the recruiting process?
Katie: For me, the recruiting process started before my freshman year. It’s really hard for a 14 year old to figure out what will be best for me in 8 years when I am finishing a college career. I had no doubt that I wanted to play at a high level, even if that meant a smaller role on the court. But deciding if I wanted to go far away, stay close to home, or even what position I wanted to pursue was the challenge. I got so many external opinions, it would have been easy to just give in and let someone else decide or maybe block them out altogether and be stubborn. But listening to them, getting a different perspective, and then taking that information and applying it to myself helped a lot.
GamePlan: What is your favorite memory from playing college sports?
Katie: Too many!! My teammates are still my absolute best friends. When you work so hard and go through so many ups and downs with the same group of people, you become a family. Teammates and lifelong friends are my favorite thing about college athletics.
GamePlan: What advice do you have for student-athletes who are trying to play at the collegiate level?
Katie: If you want to play in college, you obviously LOVE the game because that is necessary. Once you’re sure if that, be honest about your goals and what you are willing to sacrifice. You might love a sport but are you willing to miss football games, social events or seeing family? Do you want to be held accountable for every grade you get or choice you make during college? If some of those things are priorities for you, that might affect the type of school or program you should consider. Make sure you are willing to give as much to a program as they are willing to give to you.
GamePlan: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything? If so, what would you do differently?
Katie: I would thank all the people behind the scenes more often. All the administration, custodians, trainers, marketing team, bus drivers, EVERYONE! They work so hard to make our experience great and they deserve more praise than you can imagine.
GamePlan: What are you up to now?
Katie: Currently, I am living in Austin, TX pursuing a professional beach career (which would be a whole different set of answers!). I coach for Austin Performance and Silver Beach Volleyball and love helping people get better. I substitute teach and walk dogs and do some other odd jobs so that I can travel and play as often as possible. I am getting married in March and spend as much time with my little nieces and nephews as possible! And I always love purple, live gold. Geaux Tigers!
GamePlan: What role did athletics play in helping you get to where you are now?
Katie: Athletics taught me to be resilient, driven, confident, and put people in my life who want me to succeed as much as I do. Athletics gave me two college degrees, my best friends, and a work ethic that will help me in whatever path I end up on.
GamePlan: 🙌That's the dream.
GamePlan: Anything else you’d like to share?
Katie: Say YES to as many volunteer opportunities and community engagement chances as possible. You never know who you might make an impact on, and even more often who will make an impact on you.
GamePlan: I love that! You are absolutely right.
Thank you, Katie! Amazing words of wisdom that every student-athlete can benefit from. Until next time!