1 Million Story Ideas Special: Student-Athlete Mind Games

Over the past decade, digital tools and mobile platforms have rocketed journalism to a universe of innovation, interactivity and immediacy once unimaginable. Yet, without stellar content, journalism 2.0 is not worth the effort to read, watch, click on, scroll through, contribute to or connect with. Everything journalism was, is and will be rests on our ability to tell a story. And every story starts with an idea.

So let’s brainstorm.

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To help get you started, I have set up and regularly update the special page 1 Million Story Ideas for Student Journalists on my blog College Media Matters. It is aimed at inspiring student journalists to localize, adapt and reinvent a range of stories — quirky and mainstream, text-based and visual, interactive and investigatory.

Here is one example.

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Student-Athlete Mind Games

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1George Washington University volleyball player Jordan Timmer spent her offseason mentally — not physically — rehabbing. According to GW Hatchet staffer Alex Kist, Timmer spent time “in a training program … [striving to] boost her confidence and reclaim the starting spot she lost.”

Kist’s top-notch report on Timmer’s “mental toughness” regimen is a reminder of the importance that mind games and emotional fragility play in the student-athlete experience.

Examine the brain-spaces of the athletically gifted on your campus. Share the stories of student-athletes’ mental breakdowns in big game moments, the toughest mental hurdles they must overcome and the mental gamesmanship they unleash on their arch-rivals or even their own teammates.

Also consider reaching out to coaches to confirm how they mentally rev up or wear down the players in their stead and the rules of thumb they follow in the offseason, during practices and throughout games to ensure athletes are not just OK physically but psychologically as well. (The GW Hatchet, George Washington University)

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For more ideas, check out 1 Million Story Ideas for Student Journalists, a quick-hit, unending, hopefully indispensable, fun, fun, fun digital story ideas fountain.

Also order a copy of my book Journalism of Ideas: Brainstorming, Developing, and Selling Stories in the Digital Age. Dubbed “the next new mandatory text for college journalists,” it features advice from hundreds of contributors, lots of digital storytelling tips, tons of story ideas and more than 300 games aimed at sparking you to come up with endless ideas of your own.

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