As I reflect on my past 3 1/2 years in my current role, as Assistant Vice President/ Associate Athletic Director for Health and performance, I have had many positive experiences. I have grown tremendously as a professional. But I think most of my professional growth can be attributed to my personal growth.
I’ve had to become the best listener I could possibly be. And when I thought I had listened enough I had to listen more. Even after I listened more, I had to listen deeper. As I listened deeper I had to listen less to myself while others were talking. I am beginning to think listening never stops.
While I was listening I also had to plan and work. When I had the time I could use it to look forward to the future and imagine what was possible. But I couldn’t always plan, most times I had to put my head down and WORK! The most amount of work I had to dedicate myself to was building relationships. As I look back, I’ve met a lot of people and a lot of people have transitioned. There’s been one overarching consistent theme: that change is inevitable. Much of my planning at work is how to be adaptable to an ever evolving landscape in college athletics.
I learned something a long time ago and it continues to serve me well and that is to believe in yourself and stay true to your values. For me, helping other people win so that we can win together is my mission statement. Building a philosophy around caring, communicating and collaborating has continued to pay dividends for myself and many others. And yet there is so much more to accomplish and build.
Caring for student athletes and young people in general has never been more important than it is today. I spent the first third of my tenure developing a sport science structure. I’m very proud of what we have been able to accomplish so far. The second third of my tenure was focused on the coronavirus pandemic and helping guide our health and performance efforts. The last third of my tenure has been focused primarily on mental health. I’m very excited about the structure we have planned for student athletes, staff, and coaches.
The work continues!