The NHL is celebrating women in hockey, and every week this season, NHL.com will highlight a woman from each of the 32 teams. Today, a look at Buffalo Sabres team sports psychologist Amadna Edwards:

Name: Amanda Edwards

Job title: Team sports psychologist

Education: University of Minnesota, B.A. Psychology; Florida State University, M.S. Sport and Exercise Psychology; Texas Tech University, Ph.D. Counseling Psychology

Years of hockey experience (Include on- and off-ice hockey-related experience): 6 years

Describe your job in 2-3 sentences: I help athletes and staff improve their performance in hockey and life, by way of optimizing mental health and mental skills training practices. I provide consultation, treatment, and intervention for a variety of mental health and hockey performance topics, such as building confidence, emotional control, leadership, and optimizing sleep and recovery (to name a few).

What was your first-ever job, and did it prepare you for the work you do today?

My first-ever job was working in a sporting goods store in the Buffalo area. It fostered a passion for the sports culture and a life-long pride for Buffalo and Buffalo sports -- which helps me feel motivated and grateful every day to do this work.

Name one person who provided you with career guidance, what advice did they give?

My friend of 15 years, who is now the sports psychologist for the Buffalo Bills, gave me advice when I was still in graduate school. She encouraged me to diversify my training and education and learn as much as possible, from as many people as possible.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever been given?

The best career advice I’ve received came from my mother, who advised me to never excuse or apologize for my thoughts and feelings.

What career advice can you give others?

I think it’s important for everyone to “learn how to learn”, meaning learning any skill or lesson involves more failure than success, and if you’re able to transform failure into opportunities to learn, empowerment, and motivation, then you will become an expert in any field.

What is a quality you admire most in others (personal or professional)?

A calm presence in a crisis

What motivates you to keep pushing and be successful?

People! My love for the players and staff, my family, and of course love and pride for the Buffalo community.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement to date?

Starting my own business/private practice.

What do you love most about your job?

The comradery among staff, and of course, the players’ personalities and humor. They are goof balls and so much fun to be around!

If you weren’t working in hockey, what would you be doing?

I can’t imagine my life not working in sports in some capacity. If I weren’t a psychologist, then I’d probably be a physical therapist.

How would your closest friends describe you?

My closest friends describe me as caring, thoughtful, and always willing to help.

Describe a moment where you proudly thought to yourself, “I can’t believe this is my job!”

The first time I was on the team bench, observing practice. The practice was intense, and the players were dripping sweat and pushing one another to their limits. I remember thinking “I’ve found my happy place”

What are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of my work ethic. My mother is a self-made woman, has a relentless work ethic, and instilled this in me as well. Her most commonly-used expression is “It’s time to get to work”.

What is your next goal or what do you want to accomplish next?

Build a comprehensive clinical sports psychology program here at the Sabres.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?


What’s your favorite book?

“The Gift of Therapy” by Irvin Yalom

One thing you can’t live without?

a snack drawer in every office I occupy

Do you collect anything?

Inspirational quotes and books

What is your hobby outside of work?

I love going to the beach!