Libby Crandall is a senior from Sartell, Minn., and is a basketball player here at Lawrence University. Besides being involved in sports, she is also the face of The Hidden Opponent on the Lawrence campus. The Hidden Opponent (THO) is an organization designed to provide athletes with the tools necessary to assist in any mental health issues they might be facing. THO is bringing awareness to the fact that sports can cause high levels of anxiety and place performance pressure on athletes, which can negatively impact their mental health.
Crandall has had a passion for mental health since before coming to Lawrence and she aimed to seek out and make readily available more mental health support for the Lawrence community. Victoria Garrick, the founder of THO, was Crandall’s biggest inspiration. Crandall says she “got involved with THO initially through hearing about it through [Garrick’s] podcast. It all kinda went from there and [she] was able to bring everything to campus right away!”
THO is a beneficial outlet for athletes to obtain additional resources rather than solely relying on services from the Wellness Center. Aware that some prefer peer support over counseling, Crandall aims to make THO accessible to all athletes because “there can never be too many resources.” THO’s future goals on the Lawrence campus include working more closely with the Wellness Center in hopes of improving athlete mental health.
Crandall wants to see THO flourish on campus. She stated, “THO is something I hold very close to my heart and something I care deeply about … Mental health is an area that can always use more recognition and only results in positivity. Regardless of a person’s status on campus as an athlete or not, we can all agree that mental health is important and deserves to be supported by the university and each other.”
Besides being an athletic organization, THO directly impacts the Lawrence community as it increases awareness about mental health and provides students a platform to comfortably speak on their personal experiences. Crandall believes that “it’s a way to bring people together for a common issue and goal of improving our campus community … THO is aimed at student athletes by the national organization but I think that at Lawrence, THO has the opportunity to be a community for the entire campus. There are so many ways to get involved by coming to the awareness games to support and attend workshops and events that are held.”
If you would like to ask any questions, join the THO club or be included in future THO events, you can contact Libby Crandall at email@example.com.
Follow the THO Instagram for opportunities like awareness games or workshops to support athletes and their mental health.