After Sports: How Jayme Katis Created ‘More Than the Score’ As A Support Outlet For Female Athletes

Jayme Katis

After Sports: How Jayme Katis Created ‘More Than the Score’ As An Outlet For Athletes

Jayme Katis is a 29-year-old student and swimming alum from Virginia Tech. In life post-collegiate athletics, Katis found the transition difficult. Ultimately, her difficulties led to the founding of her new page on Instagram: “More than the Score.” It is an inspirational page that features hundreds of athletes, from swimmers like herself, to individuals from basketball, lacrosse, gymnastics, soccer, and more.

Katis recently took time from her schedule to sit for an interview and spread awareness about the Instagram page and the important message it is trying to convey.

Here is what Katis had to say about her Instagram page.

Why did you start this Instagram page?

“After retiring from college athletics with my career ending at Virginia Tech, I found that the transition out of athletics was extremely challenging, and I was left without resources or a community. About three years after leaving the pool, my coping mechanisms started to get the best of me and showcased my struggling mental health. While I could not find full fulfillment through chasing the corporate dream, I came to the realization that there may be women who experienced the same battles with the loss of sport.

“The Instagram page was created to bring a collective of female athletes (former and current) together with the goal of creating a community within the phases of athletics. Initially, I had hoped to create a mentor/mentee matching system but started to realize that vulnerable storytelling allows us all to learn from one another regardless of age, experience, and accolades.”

How did you find all of the athletes featured on your page?

“At first, I started working through my network as a Virginia Tech athlete and my swimming network within USA Swimming. Relationship building and bringing people together has always been a passion of mine, so I figured that a gentle message asking women to share their powerful experiences or advice would do the trick. From there, the community has fostered our shares, whether it be a woman’s story that engages her own community, shares on social media outlets, or just word of mouth. We allow women to collaborate with ‘More Than The Score’ so that they can inspire strength within their own networks.”

What is the primary goal of your Instagram page?

“’More Than The Score’ is a peer-based collective for female athletes during athletics and beyond where women can share their stories, make connections and demonstrate support for the wins and losses we all experience in this life journey. I hope that ‘More Than The Score’ can serve as a community for women to be honest with themselves and others that are going through the same transitions within athletics. Across the collective, everyone’s story is unique however, our team hopes to centralize on challenges that are prevalent surrounding athletics and to advocate for support.”

What is your personal story about mental health and your sport?

“Swimming served as my primary coping mechanism and band-aid given my parent’s divorce and my lack of self-acceptance. The sport gave me the ability to set goals, start to dream for myself, and build team-based friendships but fostered perfectionism. Swimming was my identity outside of athletics and the primary source of my happiness. When my swimming goals were not being met throughout my college career, I started chasing cities and career success and sought comfort outside of myself. Three years out of college athletics, I felt I lacked center and struggled with my identity outside the pool. The removal of swimming opened up a significant need for my own self-acceptance and grounding. Through my journey, the trials and tribulations made me realize that swimming was just one piece of me. The other parts of Jayme now needed tending to and support.”

What is some advice you would give to other athletes looking to bring more awareness to mental health areas of their sport?

“Start the conversation. If there is not a community outlet within your sport, don’t be afraid to lean in to build one. As an athlete, I was afraid of what therapy would move me through during college athletics. In reality, it would have been the ideal supplement to the emotions that I stored within. Don’t be afraid to hold coaches and support staff accountable for bringing programming and resources to campuses and clubs throughout the full life-cycle of our careers. Challenge those that support athletes to support avenues to start the discussion around body change, loss of identity, low self-worth, and lack of community through self-acceptance practices and trauma education.

“We can all draw on the stories shared within the platform. All genders and age levels are welcome to support the advocacy that ‘More Than The Score’ hopes to develop. Follow our page and get involved with our activities offered!”

You can find Jayme Katis and the other incredible athletes featured on her page on Instagram: @morethanthescore.

Click on the link to visit the Instagram page created by Jayme Katis: morethanthescore

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