Former Loyola volleyball player, social worker helping student athletes who lost season

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CHICAGO – When COVID-19 game to the US, it sidelined both professional and student athletes.

A former Loyola Univerity volleyball player, turned social worker, is offering some much needed coaching.

Audrey Grunst said some young athletes from high school to college are facing anxiety due to a sudden lack of structure.

“They are left aimlessly wandering around and they don`t know how to structure it,” Grunst said. “As young students, they have been controlled by a structure and schedule that’s been good for them and then all of a sudden, we throw them off the deep end and tell them to swim.”

Grunst, doesn’t just counsel athletes at Simply Bee Consulting who have lost out, she’s lived it.

A former newcomer of the year at Loyola University, Grunst’s career was cut short due to injury.

“It’s devastating as an athlete to have your identity completely taken away from you at 20, 21 years old,” Grunst said.

She holds workshops to help athletes improve work-life balance and negative self-talk.

The lessons are coming in handy for Ashley O’Shea. The suspension of school brought an end to the competitive cheerleading schedule that kept her connected to friends and fitness.

“At first, I was like I want to go out and do this,” said O’Shea. “But then, I realized I’m not the only person staying home I’m not the only one missing out on sports, so that hit and I’m like yeah I’m not the only one.”

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