Female athletes battle body image portrayals in media

Michigan State University track and field athlete Denise Spann focuses a lot of time and energy on her body. That’s because she’s focused on trying to perform her best on the track, said Spann, a junior from Coconut Creek, Florida. Muscle structure and body weight can play a significant role in how an athlete performs.

But, Spann said, media portrayals of female athletes seem too focused almost entirely on how women look and not on how athletic they are. “Most of the time they just want to see a beautiful girl play a sport, because there’s a stigma in certain sports that you can’t be beautiful and be one of the best,” Spann said. “I think that the focus should be on the skill, because female athletes do work so hard to be good at their craft, only for it be overshadowed by the way they look, or how their body looks.”

Increased anxiety

Michigan State kinesiology professor Dan Gould studies sports psychology for all age levels of athletes and said having insecurities about your body can lead to increased anxiety and worry.

High school trainers focus on proper injury care

Marci Abraham, an athletic trainer at East Lansing High School, said coaching and training staffs have put a greater focus in the last two years on recognizing and reporting possible concussions and head injuries in high school sports. But concussions aren’t the only injuries trainers and coaches see. She said a majority of the injuries she’s seen have been ankle sprain/strains, thigh (quad, hamstring, and groin) strains, shin splints and back pain. Those injuries are common in all sports, Abraham said. She said athletic training staff try to injuries in many different ways. “We try to combat these and all injuries by encouraging all our athletes to take their warmup session at the beginning of practice seriously and focused, not to goof off during it,” she said.

From left to right: Jordan Keur, Graham Sikes, Jake Boss Jr. and Skylar Meade.

Q&A: Coaches help guide students on social media etiquette

Michigan State University coaches don’t just guide their student-athletes on the field. Many also are becoming coaches for students’ social media presence. Spartan Newsroom talked with coaches from the women’s field hockey, men’s soccer and men’s baseball teams about how they’re implementing social media policies with their players:

Skyler Meade spent three seasons as baseball team’s pitching coach until he was hired by the South Carolina Gamecocks in November. Georgia Holland joined the MSU field hockey team in June 2016 as an assistant coach. She played at Yale for four seasons and Wake Forest for one season.

Grebner rejoins Ingham County Commission

The Ingham County Commission remains largely Democratic after Tuesday’s election with 11 of 14 districts. Democrat Mark Grebner rejoined the commission in District 8 and Ryan Sebolt joined the commission in District 2.

Transportation engineer of AECOM Sean Kelsch addresses the crowd during the CATA Bus Rapid Transit presentation on Oct. 4, 2016 at Allen Neighborhood Center at 1611 E. Kalamazoo St. in Lansing, Mich.

Lansing, East Lansing, Meridian review CATA’s rapid transit plan

Capital Area Transportation Authority held three meetings to present modifications of its Bus Rapid Transport project to the public during the first week of October. The ideas are in response to community input at meetings in August. “The purpose of these meetings is for us to respond to the public. They raised a number of concerns with the current design, and said ‘we don’t like the way it is currently designed,’” CATA Assistant Executive Director Debbie Alexander said. “So we came back with some preliminary thinking to address those concerns.”

Current plan
The current BRT plan runs from the capital to Meijer and the Meridian Mall in Okemos.

Slideshow: Sanders rally for Hillary Clinton

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders stumped for Hillary Clinton Oct. 6 at Adams Field on the Michigan State University campus in East Lansing. In March, he had campaigned for his own candidacy, speaking at Breslin Arena. Although he won Michigan in the Democratic primary, he did not win the party’s nomination.