What made you choose UWS over other schools?
I was looking for a doctoral program that focused on the practical work rather than on research. When I met the past program director at the annual conference of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) in 2015, he explained what the UWS doctoral program was all about and it was clear that it matched my needs.
How did your time at UWS prepare you for your career and life?
The majority of the instructors in the program are practitioners working in the field of sport psychology, so it was great to learn from their experiences and benefit from their collective wisdom.
Tell us about any relationships you made while at UWS, whether it’s students, faculty, etc., that really inspired you and why?
The two instructors who inspired me the most while in the program were Vince Lodato and Dr. Stephen Walker. They were generous with their time and helped me find my own voice in sport psychology consulting with athletes. The students I met in my classes were from all over the country and the variety of backgrounds and occupations made their perspectives a rich component of the classes.
What was your favorite part about the online format of the program?
My favorite part of the online format was the ease of scheduling. This distance-learning program made it possible for me to complete an accredited doctoral degree while growing my private practice and not missing out on the lives of my family.
What made you decide on this education and career path?
It really came from my experiences as a competitive fencer on the United States National Team. When I first competed on the World Cup circuit, I did very poorly. This forced me to rethink the way I conceptualized my sport and my approach to it. I realized that I was not the biggest athlete, or the strongest, or the fastest, or the one with the most experience. I did not have a hook. So, I asked myself how I could be successful when competing against athletes who had those advantages. The answer was the mental side of the game. I realized that if I could figure out what my opponent’s hook was, I would understand the kind of game they wanted to play. I could then neutralize my opponent’s game and they would be forced to compete in a manner in which they were not as comfortable, nor as confident. Using this adaptive style I learned to be comfortable in discomfort. I called this approach Athletic Darwinism, since it was a kind of game that permitted me to evolve over the course of the match and create an environment for my opponents, where they could not thrive and I could. I ultimately went into this career path, because I wanted to help athletes achieve more from themselves. I feel a responsibility to give back to sports, since I have gotten so much from my own athletic career.
Do you have any professional plans for after graduation? Are you currently employed somewhere within the sport or psychology world? If so, where?
Upon graduation, I will continue working and developing my practice by helping my clients chase their dreams. I would also like to help mentor others in this field, as I was mentored by the instructors in this program. If you’d like to learn more about what I do, the website for my practice is: myinnervision.com
WILDCARD: Favorite sports and why?
My favorite sport to participate in is fencing. I started fencing when I was 12 so the sport had a big impact on my development. Later on, the way I conceptualized how to get the best from myself while I was competing in the World Cup Circuit, using an approach based on mental toughness and adaptation, led me to seek out clinical training and ultimately my profession. My favorite sports to watch are tennis and baseball because of the tactics required to do them well.