Interview with Josie Owen ’08: A Look into College Athletics

Who is Josie Owen?

Josie Owen is a Severn alum who graduated in 2008. While at Severn she played lacrosse. She also played club lacrosse. After graduating from Severn, she

courtesy of the Denver Pioneers

attended UVA while at UVA she continued playing lacrosse. In her senior year at UVA, she was named team captain. After graduating she went to grad school at the University of Denver. While at Denver she coached their lacrosse team for two years. After grad school, she found a job at Nike as a Sales manager and coached high school lacrosse.


What is your favorite memory from your time at Severn?

Courtesy of Severn School


I had lots of good memories from Athletics. Especially playing in two championship games my Freshman and junior year. I also always loved homecoming and all of the spirit week. I also enjoyed the prom video. In ours our theme was Borat. One of my friends was driving around in the Melbo snowball truck and wore the green once piece bathing suit.

  1. What was the transition from playing club/high school sports to college sports?

Definitely, my club team was pretty good, and I play lacrosse year-round and Ms. Sot did a good job managing my expectations of playing at the next level like lots of structure learning time management. From an applying standpoint a rude awakening I was the top player on my club team and being a leader to being a freshman and starting all over again getting to know everyone. Definitely an adjustment from being a leader. But you do get to start clean.

  1. What was college academics like compared to Severn?

Severn is one of the biggest things I credit to college success. I was lucky to get the education I got at Severn. The biggest thing is learning how to write well. At Severn, Come naturally because it is the standard. Others found it hard because they were not taught to write. But for me, it was a seamless transition from Severn to college. As long as you show up go to class it is hard to not do well.

  1. What was it like balancing academics and sports in college. How is it different from balancing work in high school?

Balancing sports and academics was not too hard it is an additional component of social life that can be challenging. Your learning to be an adult and having the opportunity to go to parties or have more social outings that I didn’t expect. Time management is the biggest thing. When you’re a student-athlete luckily you have a structure. You have practice and study hall that can help keep you on a schedule. If you are not playing a sport in college try to implement some kind of daily schedule and structure. You go from having school from 8 am to 3 pm every day. Compared to in college when you can pick your classes from any time you want.


  1. What was the recruiting process like, what advice would you give to athletes going through it right now?

It can be really overwhelming. Personally, I was very lucky. I loved my recruiting process because I didn’t know where I wanted to go, and I worked hard in school. For me, it was fun having coaches like me as a player and wanting me on their team. So, I had a very lighthearted experience with it, but that was also twelve years ago, and I think the process has changed a lot. Nowadays my biggest thing with recutting, because I coach high school, it’s hard to not get caught up in what your teammates and other people are doing. It’s hard to not compare yourself to others. You need to try not to get caught up in what other people are doing. Also, the better grades you have in the classroom the more options you will have in your search. If it is within your control, try to get good grades it will open doors for you. You never want to be in a situation where a coach tells you they can’t get you in because of your grades. This is the biggest one I tore my ACL and blew out my knee my sophomore year of college and I spent 7 months not playing. So, make sure you chose a school for the actual school itself because if you ever find yourself in a position where you’re not on the team anymore. You want to make sure you are actually happy at the school and that you love the culture. It’s a really intense process but there are really cool schools that aren’t the UNC and Florida’s. There are a lot of really cool places out there that people don’t even think about that could be a better fit for them anyway.

  1. If you could give one piece of advice to current Severn students what would you tell them?

School wise take advantage of the recourses at Severn it is a special place. While I was there, I couldn’t wait to leave, but looking back now I miss it.

Post-college networking is crucial. The two jobs I have had I got because I was networking with people. A friend of a friend or even LinkedIn is important. Odds are people got to where they are because someone helped them along the way. It also important in the working community is being a good listener, you don’t always have to be the loudest in the room to make an impact. There is value in being able to listen and know when to contribute.

College Athletics

  1. What was it like getting back into playing after tearing you ACL
Courtesy Of the Daily Progress

It was so hard. The physical rehab wasn’t anything that I couldn’t do. Making my body physically strong enough to play at the level it was before was the easy part. I never thought I would get hurt again after that. The problem for me was I lost that mental edge. I came back and I was not mentally a tough player anymore, I didn’t have much perseverance, and I would beat myself up for mistakes. I didn’t have much perseverance, I was very emotional. You exercise your body but in the seven months you take off you don’t exercise your mind in the competitive mindset, where you are constantly receiving criticism and feedback. I wish that people had focused more on the metal side for me because the day you get cleared your coaches and teammates say you are physically fine to go play. But you’re not the same player you were before, and you took a big long break from the mental engagement. It took a while, about a year, to really overcome that mental block. And it wasn’t I’m scared to pivot because I will tear it again it was oh my god, I just threw that pass away I’m such a failure. It just played my way out of it. I continued to work on my game and control the things I could control. I tried to be a little nicer to myself.

  1. What did you do to prepare for preseason and keep in shape in your offseason?

Preseason is not as bad as everyone says. It’s not as fun because you’re not playing games, but you need to be in shape. Honestly, I miss the packets. We knew we were going to do run tests and run tests suck but looking back it was nice having someone tell me what to do, and I miss that. Yes, it’s a pain but it is part of it, and instead of looking at it as a punishment thinks of it more as I want to prepare myself to be successful for this season. Anyone who is playing at the next level is a competitive enough person and hopefully likes the sport enough that even though it Is not their favorite they know it Is a part of it.

  1. What are some things you did during your playing career in college that led to you being named captain your senior year?

I’m not sure. I think the biggest thing is, at least in college, looked at me as a leader. It wasn’t so much on the field, although I did contribute all four years, it was the culture inside the locker room. Making sure everyone felt welcomed and a part of the team. I was lucky enough to have a senior who took me under her wing and made sure I was a part of the team and felt comfortable. So, I learned that from her at Severn and I tried to pass that along the way through Severn. But particularly in college trying to make sure if you see someone struggling or on the outskirts, I made sure they felt like a part of the team because ultimately it affects the team chemistry.

  1. What are some of your best memories of playing a sport in college?

Playing in the NCA tournament was really fun Also getting to travel and play at different stadiums was really cool. Seeing some cool fields and cool locations. We went to Disney World for three out of four of my years in college, so that was really fun.

After College

  1. What was it like when you graduated college and you no longer playing a sport you had dedicated so much time to?

I wasn’t prepared for it. I didn’t see a day past graduation. You play your sport your whole life, it defines you. Then your season is over you graduate college and you’re in the real world. It’s hard, it’s a big wake up call. But I think that there is a way to still be involved in the sport. I went to grad school at the University of Denver and I coached their team there for two years. Then I coached a club team. So, I still played a little bit after college. Just be really conscious there will be a clean break and a lot of things are going to change, that blindsided me, I didn’t think much about it. But still being involved in the sport afterward helped lessen that abrupt change.

  1. What is a trait that you feel has helped you succussed in athletics and a trait that helped you succeed in your career?

Work ethic, I worked very hard on the things I could control. I was never the biggest, fastest, or most athletic kid. But I made sure I had the best stick work, I put in the time and I can control the controllable. Coach Sot uses to say control the things you can control and that’s like how much work you put in on stuff, mainly with skills.

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