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One of the greatest joys in my life comes from coaching diving. I was a diver growing up and in college, and in 2005 while undergoing a major career shift, I was able to return to coaching. I am grateful every day for the athletes I coach, and for the people in my life who have given me the opportunity to coach, as well as for guidance and mentoring from other coaches.

My coaching philosophy dovetails with my yoga philosophy: I try to teach each diver to have fun, and to cultivate a deeper level of self-acceptance, while also encouraging them to realize their greatest potential.

I knew that yoga would become an important part of my coaching when, a few years ago, one of my divers was challenged by fear. I had tried everything I could to help her overcome her fear, but nothing was working. Finally I invited her to come meditate with me. She did, and her attitude towards her fear shifted. She was still afraid, but she found the mental wherewithal to perform her dives. It’s owning our fear, and yet acting, moving forward anyway, that is one of so many great results of the practice of yoga. Years later, she still practices yoga with me, which always makes me smile.

I’ve been asked how I foster a competitive spirit in my divers, and how I can reconcile that with my yoga. I believe that each diver should want to perform his or her best in a competition, and can be fueled by the performance of others. Dr. Douglas Brooks, the revered Tantric scholar, said, “If you think competition is part of the process of rising to the challenge, then you stand a chance for greatness. There’s no greatness without a challenge.”

I coach both the boys’ and girls’ teams at Weston High School, the boys’ team at Fairfield College Preparatory School, at the Patterson Club, and at my age group team, Dive Haven, which trains at Yale University.  Having the opportunity to witness to progress of so many athletes feeds my spirit.