"I am the most effective when I can stay present and take things day by day".
Rae, can you recall a time you made an impact on an athlete? How did it make you feel?
I had the pleasure of working with an athlete who used to play soccer but unfortunately fell out of love with the sport but still wanted to stay strong and active. After many failed attempts of trying to get her back in the game, I found out another passion of hers through conversations-painting. A few weeks later she comes in with a personal painted art piece for me. Unable to stop smiling and filled with joy, I knew I made an impact on her performance as an artist at that moment and it brought me that same joy as seeing one of my athletes making a game-winning shot.
What motivated you to become an ATH coach?
As a kid, I didn't know state-of-the-art facilities like ATH existed. Especially as a basketball player, all I knew was hardwood floors and occasionally the track field when my teammates and I didn't perform to our coaches’ expectations. Once I saw the facility and the partnerships that ATH holds with their respective health-care systems and their approach to internal and external growth I knew that this was something I wanted to be a part of and help make an impact as well.
Where did you go to school or get your training?
I was a Roaring Lion at Spring High School and a High Flying Warhawk at McMurry University where I received my undergraduate degree. I then became a Fierce Falcon at UTPB where I received my Masters.
With your college basketball playing experience, what is one piece of advice you would give athletes trying to excel to the next level?
Train your brain. At the next level intensity rises, the competition gets tougher as you are playing with and against the best of the best and the pressure is on. Things will get challenging and you might not be 'in your bag' as often as you like but if you can learn and apply mental skills like how to perform under pressure, relaxation skills and proper mental preparation at the next level you will be separated from the good players to the great players.
What is a quote or phrase you live by that helps you stay focused?
One Day At a Time. I am the most effective when I can stay present and take things day by day.
Tell us more about you. How do you spend your time outside of ATH? I grew up in a band so at times that I can put on my musical hat I tend to spend a few hours learning different Justin Bieber songs. I also love playing pool and spending time with my family and friends.
Is there anyone in particular that impacted your coaching career? All the coaches at ATH, my mentors in my field of Sport Psychology and Oklahoma University Director of Sports Performance, Bennie Wylie.
What was the biggest game-changer in your career? Honestly, the moment I realized and accepted that I am more than a coach. I am in a position where I have the opportunity to impact not only athletes’ performance and health but also play a role in how they think, how they respond to different emotions, and how they view themselves and their talent. I realized that the biggest game-changer within my career was when I saw that I could change the game as a performance coach who teaches the mental skills that athletes can take to their performance, personal and professional life.