Brief Bio: Growing up on the south side of Seattle I watched many people in my community struggle paycheck to paycheck working dead-end jobs to support their families. I found that through education I could leave the environment I lived in and could accomplish anything that I wanted after graduating with my bachelor’s degree. This realization has willed me to complete my bachelor’s and master’s degrees and currently I am in pursuit of my doctorate in Sport and Performance Psychology.
Why did you choose UWS? Why did you choose the SPP program?
Initially, I received acceptance to Lamar University’s PhD program in Counselor Education in September 2015. However, due to lack of student interest at Lamar for a doctoral program, the university decided against the installation of a doctoral program at that time. This left me to search for a program that would fit me. I knew that a doctorate would assist me in starting my private practice. However, I also wanted to coach football and wrestling while also being able to counsel. Many programs provided one or the other, but all were too expensive to pursue. In my search for this unique type of program I found only one university that offered a degree in Sport and Performance Psychology with a specialization in clinical mental health counseling – University of Western States (UWS). As I continued to search I found UWS to be the only program in the country that offered the unique combination in one program. After an exhaustive search lasting almost five months I knew that this would be the program for me.
What has been your favorite class/instructor?
My favorite class would have to be the applied sport psychology course taught by Dr. Woolsey. I choose this course mainly for its real-life application. I honestly can see how I will be able to utilize everything that I have learned thus far in my private practice after the completion of graduation.
What has been your experience with learning in SPP’s online environment?
Compared to my experience getting my master’s degree online, this is a much better online learning environment. No longer am I limited by local connections. I find that my cohorts are from all over the country and bring a wealth of knowledge and world experience to the classroom discussions. This is something that I believe I missed in undergraduate due to being limited by my football schedule and small class sizes.
What has been the most surprising part of attending UWS?
One of the biggest surprises I found in attending UWS is the large number of fellow SPP doctoral students that are either professional athletes or are working with professional athletes. I am currently getting my doctorate so that I can find a way to work with professional athletes and teams when I graduate. In the program, we have several individuals that I will be able to network with that are currently already doing what I want in the coaching arena. So this makes for a great opportunity to network and to be able to provide a platform to show my research to those who are my target population.
What do you hope to do after graduation?
Upon graduation, I would like to become a Certified Consultant of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (CC-AASP) so that I can begin to practice independently at my own indoor multi-surface fitness facility. My aim is to utilize sports as an intervention for students who come from the inner city and may have experienced some trauma in their lives. Through my program, it will be my aim to develop character, a quality moral compass and a thirst for knowledge about health and intellectual wellness, while also continuing my counseling practice for those athletes that need psychotherapy. Also, I would like to link professional athletes with inner-city youth in a mentorship program. With the assistance of the athletes, these young people of promise can materialize into hardworking, talented, focused and mentally-prepared young men and women, ultimately instilling in the youth that when you do make it out of the inner city you must come back to be a part of the change they wanted to see.
Wild Card Favorite sport and why?
My favorite sport would have to be football. I believe football is the only sport that requires all athletes to be on the same page in order to be successful. In most sports you can have one-third of the team be on the same page and it can still work out. However, with football there are too many moving parts, so that if one person on the offensive line messed up you may not be able to throw the ball or run the ball with your athletes. This is one of the many challenges that face coaches in football. I believe that my own experience with football has instilled in me that no matter how tough the road, continue going. For this reason I believe that I am getting my doctorate degree today. The life lessons that I have learned from playing football transcend way beyond the football field and classroom. For that I am forever grateful for all that the sport of football has done for me.Bottom of Form