By: Meredith Kane
Gizella “GiGi” Turbok loved competition. In fact, one of the main reasons she came to Barry was to be on a more competitive team.
Turbok (left) also loved figuring out how to gain the upper edge on her opponents. And she did that so well during her two-year tennis career at Barry that she ranks first in career winning percentage in Barry’s highly accomplished history with a 50-4 (.926) overall record. Not only that, but Turbok also helped lead her team to a second-place finish at the 2003 national championships, a year in which they posted a school record 27 wins.
However, the former two-time All-American, All-Sunshine State Conference (SSC) player, and 2002 SSC Women’s Player of the Year has now stepped away from the competition—but not away from the courts.
In her role of graduate assistant for Barry’s women’s tennis team, Turbok is helping other players gain that upper edge. Call it a role reversal? Maybe. But to Turbok, it’s all about getting inside the mind.
In addition to working with the women’s tennis team, Turbok is a teaching professional at the recreational Pembroke Pines Rose Prize Park, where she can assist both younger and older players with their games. “Being able to understand the thoughts and behaviors and knowing how they all come together is what I want to discover,” Turbok confessed.
However, all of her coaching experience is just leading up to the time when she will run her own sport psychology business and work with both college and professional athletes in a variety of sports.
“I want to work as a sport psychologist but still be able to incorporate coaching,” Turbok clarified. “Being able to balance both is important for me in the future.”
Before opening her own business sometime down the road, Turbok needs to continue gaining solid experience in the field. However, until that time, Turbok is basking in her experiences at Barry. “My experiences [at Barry] are more than just studying,” Turbok emphasized. “They are about personal growth and the process to learn about myself. My supervisor, Dr. [Artur] Poczwardowski, is my mentor and continually challenges me to see the world in so many different ways.”
There is no doubt that Turbok will succeed in her attempts at owning her own business and helping other athletes achieve greatness. After all, she is a pretty competitive person.