Open Mind Leads to Endless Possibilities

May 31, 2016

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Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide. To receive daily news from the Iowa Hawkeyes, sign up HERE.


IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa junior Lindsay Herra has been around sports her entire life, and when the Hawkeye discus thrower graduates in 2017 she would like that to continue.

In what capacity? She hopes to soon find out.

Herra is attending the seventh annual NCAA Career in Sports Forum from June 2-5 in Indianapolis. Only 200 student-athletes and postgraduate scholars across the country that expressed interest in pursuing a career in sports and were viewed as leaders on campus were extended an invitation.


Herra, a member of the Iowa Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, was selected from 10 Hawkeye nominees. Only seven Big Ten student-athletes made the cut.

“The last day they said (the acceptance letter) was coming I was constantly checking my email,” Herra said. “Once I saw that I got in I was so pumped. It’s an incredible opportunity and I was crossing my fingers that I could get in there and represent Iowa.”

The Career in Sports Forum selection committee is comprised of administrators and coaches within the NCAA, many former forum participants themselves. Herra admits to having an open mind about what future role she would like to have in athletics, which is why this opportunity weighed on her so heavily.

“What I’m most excited about is that the whole program, in general, will prepare me for tomorrow,” Herra said. “I’m still searching for what I want to do with my future and I’ll be surrounded by 199 other student-athletes just like me across the nation. I’m excited to be able to talk to those people and see what they’re thinking.”

Herra said she is also looking forward to hearing directly from the professionals she may someday become.

“It gives me an opportunity to see that they’re doing it, and I want to know how they’re doing it and how they got to where they are,” she said. “I’m in those steps. I’ll be a senior next year, and it’s time to start asking how I get my foot in the door.”

Herra’s open mind extends beyond college athletics. Her father, Phil, is fanatical about all sports and the requisite training. Her mother, Linda, is a registered dietician.

“They’re a power couple that has influenced me a lot,” Herra said. “I’ve always been interested in how physical activity plays an important part of your life, not just for the competitive aspect, but for the health aspect, too.”

A health and human physiology major, Herra’s interest in exercise science peaked when she volunteered at a local elementary school for Fuel Up to Play 60, an initiative that addresses childhood obesity by encouraging kids of all ages to be active and eat healthy.

“That was a great experience and that is where my passion is going,” Herra said. “I like to work with kids. That’s where healthy habits start, and being in there and noticing what they were putting in their bodies, it brought to light that they need guidance and help. I was grateful to participate in that.”

For that opportunity, and the one that stands before her today, Herra credits the University of Iowa, its academic support services, and the UI track and field program.

“My teammates create such a positive atmosphere for hard work and doing things the right way,” said Herra. “That is one thing about being a Hawkeye. You learn to do it right. I’ve learned a lot from this university and I’m so glad I’m surrounded by these people pushing me.”

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