Darne Duckett ’21 manages outreach to youth at Play Present in San Francisco, CA

Play Present has been a great experience for me this summer even though I have not
engaged in all the aspects of the position thus far. I have definitely grown as a person and
gained some mental takeaways to support my success as a basketball player. I have learned to
become someone who recognizes when to take accountability for my actions, in my efforts to
strive for greatness. I do not settle for anything less than my personal best.

I am a psychology major at Whitman. My education in psychology helps me understand
the people I work with everyday. My work in sports psychology has allowed me to gain a better
picture of how the sports world and business world combine. I’ve been able to realize all the
different types of people you will encounter on a regular basis. I’ve learned this because of what
I do on a typical day.

In a typical day, I make calls to set up appointments with organizations to
talk to them about Play Present, and inform and educate them about Sports Psychology and
Mental Health. I am typically reaching out to these people from my office with the help of my
supervisor Graham Betchart, or one of his assistant managers. Additionally, I am driving
around, meeting with the directors of club teams in the bay area. These clubs teams are not
necessarily just basketball teams, but also sports club teams that include youth volleyball and
youth soccer. I will do about a 30-45 minute presentation to the directors of these programs and
inform them of Play Present. In this presentation, I will help expand on the importance of Mental
Training in Sports.

The valuable skill, I know I will be able to apply to my career and utilize in the future, is
the appreciation I have for the people I work with. The community in my workplace inspires me
to continue improving these skills. With Play Present I have improved my time management
skills. I’ve learned the importance of having a planner because either you’re going to manage
your schedule or your schedule will manage you. With my planner, I have to be able to balance
academics, basketball, and other activities during the school year. After working with Play
Present and continuing to use my planner, I predict that I will be much more organized during
the school year. With organization and diligence, I can accomplish anything I work hard at. Not
only have gained important skills, but I’ve also encountered intellectuals who have given me
wisdom that will resonate with me for the rest of my life as well. A smart man once told me that,
“success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines practiced every day.” I take this quote
and I apply it to my academics, as it makes me ask myself what my goals are and how these
apply to my future. Through this internship, I have realized that to accomplish these goals I will
have to work hard. Play Present has not meet my expectations from before. However, I am
grateful for the opportunity to inform others on the importance of maintaining positive mental
health in sports. I have networked with important people and gained confidence in my abilities.
Going forward, I feel more prepared for my school work and to take on the challenges in the real

Experiences like Darne Duckett’s are made possible by the Whitman Internship Grant, which provides funding for students to participate in unpaid internships at both for-profit and non-profit organizations. To learn how you could secure a Whitman Internship Grant or host a Whitman intern at your organization, click here or contact Assistant Director for Internship Programs Mitzy Rodriguez


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