Tis the season to enjoy our families, friends, and our accomplishments. However, I would also like to recognize my mentors, without whom I would not be where I am today. These individuals inspired me and guided me through sport, academic, and professional endeavors. Their willingness to share their valuable time and knowledge is gratefully appreciated, and I hope to continue that legacy going forward in my life and career.  

Coach Desmond Lee

Track & Distance Coach, Temecula, CA

When I met Coach Lee, my husband and I were new residents in Murrieta, CA and I was working with another coach in Temecula, a city near Murrieta. I had the privilege to work with some of Coach Lee’s former track athletes. Coach Lee introduced me to USA Track & Field and is a passionate advocate in the world in which he guides lives, every-single-day. Coach Lee helped me improve in my sprint work, stretching techniques, and distance training. It was at that point that I fell back in love with the sport and had decided to try my hand at coaching and education. Coach Lee was the inspiration behind why I went and obtained my USA Track and Field Level 1 certification in San Diego, CA. For this, I truly am honored to have been blessed with the opportunity to have met such a generous and carrying person. Thank you, Coach Lee.

 

Coach Troy Lau, Ph.D.

Founder of Prodigy Athletes, Creator of the Pacific Islander Education and Retention (PIER) program, football coach

Coach Lau is an extremely passionate sports trainer, and his love for sports shows in his everyday commitment to his athletes. Coach Lau encouraged me to be a leader, assert myself around the athletes, and to never doubt myself. He also encouraged me to workout with the athletes and allow them to get comfortable in trusting in me. Coach Lau showed me what it was like to walk in his shoes as a head coach, and how to gain the respect from his athletes. Working with Coach Lau bestowed onto me the ability to be a confident female coach in a very, political world. Because of him, today I am much more confident in the work I perform with my athletes!

Thank you, Coach Lau.

 

Hillary Houseman, P.A.C. & Dr. Paul R Reiman, M.D.

Sports Medicine

I was also fortunate to have the opportunity to shadow alongside Hillary and Dr. Reiman in their sports medicine practice. I was absolutely blown away and inspired with their professionalism and ability to make their knowledge and love for what they do in sports medicine, look so easy! Dr. Reiman quizzed and challenged me in a way that inspired me to move towards obtaining my education in sports medicine, while placing focus in injury prevention and rehabilitation methods for athletes. Thank you both, paving the way for my interests in obtaining my degree in sports medicine.

 

Heather Snyder, P.T., D.P.T., O.C.S.

Physical Therapist, Murrieta, CA.

Heather was such a great mentor for me to follow, and truly encouraged my growth as a young student who was looking to pursue sports medicine. I was honored to work alongside her at a few football games and cross country events. Working the sidelines, as a former athlete, gave me an entirely-new perspective. Thank you, Heather, for the unique experience you offered.

 

Dave Shrock, Ed.D.

President and Coaches and Committee Chair, USATF (Pacific)

When I finally had pulled my nerves together and decided to follow through with my goals in obtaining my USATF 1 license, a whole new world opened for me. I met Dave Shrock while participating in lectures for the certification course. Post completion, I reached out to Dave and shared my passions and ideas moving into the sport community. Dave was kind enough to connect me to other professionals at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center in San Diego, CA. Interestingly, within the past few years, I re-connected with Dave Shrock through the United States Sports Academy while I was pursuing my dual master’s degrees. It has amazed me how often these professionals in my circle come back around at different times in my life. I am incredibly grateful to have met Dr. Shrock and look forward to working with him moving forward. Thank you, Dave!

 

Paul Greer, M.S.

San Diego Track Club Rockin’ ‘n’ Runnin’ Coach, Professor of Health and Exercise Science

I met Paul Greer through Dave Shrock while I was interested in working with some of the coaches at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA. Paul was so generous to have connected with other coaches whom eventually became part of my journey in sports. If it were not for Paul, and the former coaches I had met during my USATF1 training, I am not sure where my journey would have led me. Paul opened doors for me at the Olympic Training Center in San Diego, and truly was the start of my professional journey. Thank you, Paul.

 

Craig Poole, Ed.D.

Head BYU Track Coach, Professor, USATF National Development & Multi Events Chair, USATF Head Coach and more.

Coach Poole was my first motivation to return to school to pursue my undergraduate degree. I fondly remember spending my mornings outside at the Olympic Track with Coach Poole, asking questions while watching the athletes practice their events. My fondest memory was when I got to travel out to UCLA and watched some of his athletes compete in track events. It was amazing to watch these athletes and witness their amazing talent, firsthand. Coach Poole was such a great inspiration to me. His encouragement served as the motivation to go back to school and complete undergraduate and master’s degrees, in order to pursue a career in sport. Thank you for guiding me Coach Poole!

 

Coach Eric Dixon

USATF Level 1-3 Coach, IAAF Level 5 Coach, Co-Writer for health and fitness books, and more.

Coach Dixon served as an instructor during my USATF certification course in San Diego. Coach Dixon is a very approachable person, one who instantly offered me guidance as I pursued coaching and taking on my first athletes. At that time, I was interested in sports nutrition and guiding athletes towards a better nutritional lifestyle. After a couple of years working with Coach Dixon, I went into consulting athletes through my organization with Gravitational Performance and remained a consultant for his athletes when they needed me. Thank you, Coach Dixon, for being one of the first coaches that gave me the opportunity to grow in sports as a professional.

 

Coach, Jeremy Fischer, M.A. & M.S.

USATF Lead Coach, Owner of Maximum Velocity Athletics, and more.

I met Coach Fischer at the Olympic Training Center while I was completing an internship. He has been a huge mentor in my life. He wrote a reference letter for my application into my dual master’s program and has continued to guide me throughout my academic and athletic career. Coach Fischer has always believed in me and no matter what questions I have for him, or where he is around the world, he has always provided me with answers or guidance. From day one, when I walked onto that Olympic Track in Chula Vista, pregnant with my first baby, Coach Fischer and all the other coaches had faith in me. About two years ago, I stepped foot back on the track and got to visit Coach Fischer once again, meanwhile my two little boys got to step foot on that very track, where my first dreams came true. Thank you, Coach Fischer, for all that you do for me!

 

Stephen Butler, Ed.D.

Director, Language Training Detachment USAF Special Operations School, and Former Dean of Academic Affairs

Dr. Butler was one of my first professors in my undergraduate studies at the United States Sports Academy. Then, during my masters, I found myself reaching out to him for guidance in my academic studies. Eventually, I decided to ask him to be the chair for my thesis committee in my dual master’s program. It is without a doubt that I owe most of my gratitude to him for assisting me throughout my education. Today, Dr. Butler remains a major component in my academic life, as I continue to reach out to him in my doctoral studies. Dr. Butler is someone that all students want on their team, and because I am so lucky to have him on mine, I am forever grateful! Thank you, Dr. Butler!

 

Brandon Spradley, Ed.D.

Director of Sports Management at the United States Sports Academy

Brandon Spradley was also one of my first professors in my undergraduate studies. At that time, I was very new to college, although it was technically my third year, it was my first year at the United States Sports Academy. Brandon was such a great professor. I had the honor of meeting him and his students from China while they visited the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA. At that time, I made sure to continue reaching out to Brandon with any questions moving forward in my program. Years later, when he was working on the Concussion Awareness Program (CAP), I had the opportunity to record a podcast recording with him for Gravitational Performance. Today, Brandon remains a huge asset in my academic life. I was honored when he accepted to be part of my thesis committee, along with Dr. Butler in my dual master’s program. I am grateful for all that he has done for me and he will remain a role model for myself in my academic future. Thank you, Brandon!

 

My apologies for not being able to mention everyone who has taken part in my academic and sport career. The list is truly endless! It is YOU who continues to inspire me- some of you might have not known how impactful you were in my life. Therefore, I have written this for you! So, you might be wondering what I am up to today.

 

Okay, here goes…

I completed my Bachelors in Sports Science and Sports Studies, then completed a dual masters in Sports Medicine and Sports Science with an emphasis in Sports Psychology with honors (kept you in mind Coach Poole), and I am currently in my doctorate program for sports management and sports medicine with a specialization in sports marketing. During my undergraduate studies, I designed Gravitational Performance to educate and consult athletes in various sports among topics like sports nutrition, sports psychology, and sports medicine. Throughout my time in education, I have been able to apply my knowledge and strengthen my ability to be the best as a leading female in the sport science community. This year, I have worked as a content developer for Gravitational Performance School of Sports Science, a specialty school that is currently being developed through my organization. It is my goal to be the leading organization in sports science, with a profound group of professionals by my side! As I continue moving forward with my dreams, it is my goal to give thanks to each of you, for paving the way as leaders, inspiration, and motivation for me to have made it this far. As “plank-holders” you are all the ones who helped me build my ship, and it took a lot of moving parts to keep me going. Without you all, I would have not been as successful. So, with all this being said, from the bottom of my heart, Thank You!

 

Cheryl McCormick, M.S.S.

Giving Thanks