Jan. 6, 2022

Proactive Self-Leadership and Coaching with Cheryl McCormick, Founder of Gravitational Performance

Proactive Self-Leadership and Coaching with Cheryl McCormick, Founder of Gravitational Performance

In Episode 63, Cheryl McCormick, Founder of Gravitational Performance, Sports Research Scientist, and multi-sport athlete, kicks off Season 5 and talks with Phil about her work as a Sports Research Scientist, nutrition, sports psychology, and rest...

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In Episode 63, Cheryl McCormick, Founder of Gravitational Performance, Sports Research Scientist, and multi-sport athlete, kicks off Season 5 and talks with Phil about her work as a Sports Research Scientist, nutrition, sports psychology, and rest & recovery as prevention, individualized coaching and coursework, her personal why, what she learned from playing multiple sports, and, of course, whether cheerleading is a sport. Specifically, Cheryl discusses:

  • Her story, how she developed his passion for sports, mental health, leadership, and how she worked to get where she is today (2:01)
  • What she does as a Sports Research Scientist (5:00)
  • Her work with Gravitational Performance and its mission and vision to help coaches reach their fullest (7:32)
  • Nutrition, sports psychology, and rest and recovery as preventative tools (12:39)
  • The importance of individualized coaching and continuing education (19:00)
  • What she learned from the various sports she played that she is using in her work with Gravitational Performance (22:40)
  • The age-old question of whether cheerleading is a sport (25:00)
  • Her personal why and how it is playing out in her life (34:01)
  • What she wants everyone she helps to take away from Gravitational Performance (35:08)
  • How she uses the lessons she has learned through sports in her marriage, parenting, and other areas of her life (40:39)
  • Her recommendations (44:40)

Resources and Links from this Episode


Phil: Welcome back to How Soccer Explains Leadership. Thank you so much for being a part of this show. As Paul and I always say, we're so appreciative of you we couldn't do without you. We'd be just be talking with each other and our guests, if you weren't listening in and being part of the conversation. So thank you.

I'm Phil Darke. You're a host and if you haven't done so already, I encourage you to join the Facebook group. I'm looking at 2022 to be the year that we really get deeper and deeper into these conversations. Something we we've tried to do in different ways. I find that that's a great way that we can ask questions of each other.

We can encourage each other and just build each other up and how we can lead better in our lives. Also rate and review the show, wherever you're listening to it, that will help it get out to more people and share it word of mouth. As I've said before, that is the best way to spread anything.

So if you think it is helping you in your leadership and your marriage and your parenting and all that you're doing hopefully it will help other [00:01:00] people too. And you can share that gift with them. I encourage you to do all those things. And today as usual, we have a great guest that I'm really getting excited to jump into a conversation with her, and then to be able to share it with you.

We have Cheryl McCormick. She is a sports research scientist, which is just really cool. That just sounds really cool. And she is the Founder of Gravitational Performance, which we're going to get into that in a little bit, what that is. So Cheryl, how are you doing? Welcome to the podcast. Hello?

[00:01:30] Cheryl: Hello. I'm doing good. got my coffee. Got my mindset.

[00:01:37] Phil: Yeah. Fantastic. Well, you know, as usual we'd like to start our episodes by just, you know, you get to share your story a little bit of how you developed your passion for sports, mental health, leadership coaching coaches, and just really how you got to be where you are.

[00:01:51] Cheryl: Yeah, well, it starts when I was 11 and it ends today. No, I'm just kidding. 11 years old, I [00:02:00] started running cross country, played basketball, was cheerleader ran track. I was very good at sports. Didn't have a clue half the time what I was doing, but. Told coaches were like run. You're awesome. You're doing it.

Keep going. I did. As a young athlete played all the way up till I was 18 in four sports MVP athlete of the year regional qualifiers that outta ran two years in a small college in Southern California for cross country. You know, at that point is when I started. I started to burn out and I, I just moved away from, from sports.

I was trying to figure out who I was supposed to be, what I was supposed to do in life. I actually went into a nursing and worked at a brain injury unit, worked with an eating disorder, worked in India. Rehabilitation clinics worked behind sports medicine, physicians, physical therapists. So that's really, when I started [00:03:00] getting back into a little bit of the sports and started realizing I really want to go back in.

So at that point, I went back to school, obtained my undergraduate degree in sports science and sports studies, and then thought, what the hell. Keep going. I never saw myself to do that. And I just pushed myself. I had a love and passion to continue growing in the sport industry. At that time, sports psychology was not as popular as it is today.

It's just really resurfaced within the last 11 years or so. And went back. Obtain a double master's degree in sports medicine, sports science emphasize in sports psychology. A lot of people had asked me why, why not specialize like most people do in sports, you know, be a nutritionist to be a whatever coach be this.

I said, you know, there's just three areas and we'll get to that later. But there are three areas that I really wanted to focus on. And so [00:04:00] really my motivation is just been. Not just one thing, but growing up in the sport industry and realizing the impact that it had on me. And then as a, as a young adult, going back to school and being in the workforce in a different, discipline, if you will, and realizing where my, my true passions lie and that's led me to where I'm at today, I'm currently finishing out a doctoral program, educational doctorate in sports management.

[00:04:29] Phil: Yeah. There's a lot there. you know, it sounds like you're a lot older than you are with all that you've done already. So, I have no idea how old you are exactly. I just know you're a lot younger than I am,

so, all right. So first thing. Your sports research scientists, they, what is that? What do you do as a sports research scientist?

[00:04:50] Cheryl: I actually came up with the term. I've had a couple advisors say Cheryl, Cheryl, and I'm like, Nope. You know what? I don't do well with people telling me [00:05:00] that I cannot do, or I should do this.

And it's okay. I take advice, constructive criticism, but I also just had some. I want to say a professional soccer coach, a strength and conditioning specialist over in Paris just asked me yesterday. So Cheryl, what is the sports research scientist there? And I said, well, let me tell you research is my passion.

I absolutely love to research and obviously a will know, and many others who are in education, the higher you get an education, the more research is on your plate. And so, you know, it was one thing that I actually. With scared of intimidated by didn't care for, with research when I was younger. But I realized over the years of my passion, that it was the research that was helping guide and direct me.

The more research I stumbled on the more accuracy, I'll say that in mental, physical performance, I realized research is really where it's at. Because as a research scientist, I'm able to whether conduct research [00:06:00] myself with other people, or just research on the latest trending topics and what's working.

So as a sports research scientists, that is literally what it is. I am working on research and it falls under the science of sport. So anything that can be implemented to better mental or physical performing.

[00:06:22] Phil: Yeah. And so you're not just stopping at the research though, right? You're, you're helping people to bridge that theory practice gap that that always exists.

Whatever you have research. And I've been doing work with orphan and vulnerable kids all around the world for the last 13 years. And if there's ever a theory practice, That's why you need to have the ivory towers where we sit up here and we research and we do stuff and you put it into practice. I mean, just as parents, we know that, right?

Like, you know, we have all these theories, great parenting books, you know, and you read them and you're like, but that didn't work with my five kids or your two kids, two kids, right. Two boys. Yeah. [00:07:00] So, and we realized real quick, like, well, in my home, that theory just doesn't, it's flies out of the window, right?

So with that, how are you doing that? You are, you have gravitational performance. Tell us what that is, and then really discuss the mission, vision values, and how you are really wanting to help coaches with this research that you're doing and everything else that you're doing and gravitational. That's

[00:07:22] Cheryl: a loaded question.

Gravitational performance. So I started that about, when I say about 13 years ago, I liked the idea of just having an organization because I realized that I wasn't just going to be a coach. Although a lot of people call me, coach McCormick. You know, I'm not just a coach. I guide, I educate. So gravitational performance really was founded on the concept of providing consulting services for athletes, mainly athletes at that time, because that's really all I knew in my undergraduate was as a former athlete myself and how I can help provide.

[00:08:00] Educational content and deliver, the best advice out there. So I started small and that's really what it was. I followed under the three disciplines in which I'm passionate about today. And I consider myself continued specialist, if you will. Always learning uh, in sports, nutrition, psychology, and sports medicine.

So that's really where gravitational performance was today. We'll just say over the course of several years, I've added to it. And I've gotten to branch out and work with world-class athletes coaches around from, you know, Olympic coaches and youth coaches, everybody, and anybody I wanted to pull in and say, I'm not stopping here.

I'm not sports specific. I want to be able to provide outstanding and quality educational content from the latest research. And so. You might notice that it's gravitational performance and now school is sports science. So since I've gone back and [00:09:00] obtained all my education, I've really had a passion with bringing sports science more into the states because it's not as common as place like the UK.

And I wanted to. Open up a school in sports science. So that is a goal and I'm working on it. But in terms of where it's at today, it's still, it's still similar in terms of working with athletes, but I've incorporated working with parents because I, I believe that. A vital component to an athlete's overall success, especially at the youth level of sports.

And it's a very trending topic, if you will. I think we've talked on clubhouse several times where we get the parents involved and there's a lot of conflict and how the parents can support coaches and support their athletes So I thought. I'm going to provide services for them as well. But today I'm really focusing on for my dissertation as well as what I want to do is allowing educational advice, consulting services, if you [00:10:00] will for college coaches, And that's really my passion today is to be able to provide coaches with the outlet, with the motivational content, with the ability to receive outstanding education off season training is where they received the educational content from me.

And that's more sports specific obviously. And then in season is more of the motivation because listen, we all know. Work extremely hard. They're gone a lot of the time and we worked so much on providing outstanding efforts for our athletes, from, you know, sports medicine, to nutrition, to sports psychology, you know, D one schools have that in house.

But what about the. You know, NCAA offers various, clinics and continued education classes for their coaches, but realistically coaches they don't have the time to just sit and [00:11:00] take a weekend long class. And so my focus today is just that is to develop a really good working relationship with every coach.

And it would be. The program in which the, I structure specifically tailored to that person and their unique personality too. So that is where I'm at today with gravitational performance

[00:11:20] Phil: yeah, I love that. I love that. It's as you said, and we talked about offline as well, the idea of it being tailored to the coach, because we know that there's no one situation, it's not all coaches are not going through the same thing and they're all different.

And as every kid's different. Right. So when you're talking about, you know, and, and can you just talk a little bit about. You talked about nutrition, talk about sports psychology, talked about sports medicine, really the rest and recover side of things. And so much of that is both preventative and reactive, so to speak.

Right. You know, you are, you are preventing injuries through. Proper nutrition through rest and recovery. You're also helping to nurse injuries and stuff [00:12:00] through that proper rest and recovery. And the sports psychology is the same way is preventative from having burnout and breakdowns. But it's also, how can we, in the midst of issues in the midst of.

You know, we usually, we wait for the issue and then we do stuff about it. Can you talk about the importance of using it as a preventative? Because somebody who's like, oh yeah, it's not an issue for me, so I don't really need it. Why is it important to do as a preventative, as something that we need to and what does that look.


[00:12:29] Cheryl: I mean, Hey, we realize that we're all human. We all make mistakes. We all think that we're better and we don't need this. Or, in terms of eating right. And you can allow yourself to eat a little bit of bad, but the older we get and the more that we're adding on our plate mentally, It will impact our physical and in terms of what I offer for coaches is going to be the same in terms of nutrition, psychological aspects, stressors, environmental personal, yada, yada.

If we're not taking care of that, [00:13:00] and we're not proactive, then how good are we for the athletes, As a coach, how good are we coming back home and bringing it back to the home front? You know? So realistically it is extremely. If not much more important for the coach to make sure that they're staying on top of this.

A lot of the stuff that I work on too, isn't brand new. it's more of an aha moment. Like I know this, but I have so much on my plate that it's been in the closet for awhile. So let me bring it back to you and give you some aha moments, you know, but in terms of why it's important to be proactive, Just like I said, because if you're not good for yourself, As a coach, then, how good are you going to be showing up for your athletes?

You know, and also we lead by example, coaches lead by example, we want to be ingrained the best kind of person build the best kind of player on and off the field. And so if you're not doing that as a coach, then how are your athletes doing that as a coach, [00:14:00] especially college athletes that are becoming independent.

And about to walk out there in the real world and get professional jobs, as the coach, absolutely being proactive and taking care of the rest and recovery and something, I don't know if you want to talk about it now, but rest and recovery is not in terms of an injured athlete who needs to go sit in a hot ice bath and, you know, be seeing.

Physical therapist. It's literally rest and recovery every single day on your mindset for a coach, being able to turn your phone off, shut it, put it away, not take any more work calls and be in the present moment for yourself as well as going home and being part of your family. That is the main support and soundboard for you.

So being proactive in all areas is major.

[00:14:46] Phil: Yeah, let's, let's dive into that a little bit more. I mean, and I, I want to just make very clear why we do this show. It's not just sports, by the way, any leader, everybody, whatever you're doing. If you're in the business, that's the furthest [00:15:00] away from sports, or if you're a stay at home mom who is, or a stay at home, dad who are at home doing this and this stuff is critical for all of us, whatever you're doing. And so, and for our kids, the younger, they learn it the better. So let's go into that, just rest and recovery part. I mean, all of them are interconnected. As you talked about all the psychology and the nutrition and the rest and recovery. I mean, it's. It's all interconnected.

If you're just doing one, it's not going to be good enough, but let's just focus on this rest and recovery for a bit. And you talked a little bit about that, but what does that look like? Like, you know, cause we talk about self leadership and self care. If you're not taking care of yourself, you won't be able to do anything.

I mean, or much good for others, but what does that look like?

[00:15:45] Cheryl: Rest and recovery. It's I know it's on rest and recover, but we're, we're recovering. So from the mental aspect, all the stuff that we endure every day now, I appreciate you saying that in terms of. A lot of what I [00:16:00] do is focused around the sports and the athletic performance or the coach's performance, but it really rolls over to just the average, any nine to five, anybody, your weight, loss, recovery, whatever it is, rest and recovery is literally after getting off work after enduring a lot mentally or physically, you're allowing yourself downtime.

To breathe, whether it's relaxation techniques, whether it's listening to some soothing music, whether it's going and treating yourself, that's part of your rest phase, because you're shutting off the stressors that are impacting you, which are going to be considered environmental and sometimes personal, you know, but if you don't allow rest and recovery, you know, proper nutrition, proper sleep.

You know, self-care self-love so to speak, then you're not really recovering yourself. And in terms for an athlete, it's different, right? They need proper nutrition. They need to really rest their bodies from the physical aspects, from [00:17:00] everything that they've endured. But coaches do too, because they're traveling, you know, they're doing, they have different types of stressors impacting them.

So it, it really it's, it's really different for everybody. My rest and recovery. Might be completely different for somebody like you or for the coach. Right. Are they able to put their phone away? Are they able to not take the athletic director's phone call? It's an important message. So how do you stop your.

It could be breathing techniques. It could be meditation, it could be taking a bath. It could be just going out and having a nice meal, you know, being mindful of what it is that you need to do to take care of yourself and to be the best the next day.

[00:17:39] Phil: absolutely. And you know, part of the DISC training that we do on the behavioral side of things and the, and the personalities, there's exactly what you just said.

Some people, it may be going out for a walk with their spouse. Some people, it may be going into a room. Being by themselves and saying, I can't talk to anybody. Other people, like you said, maybe having a meal and shared a meal [00:18:00] either by yourself or shared a meal with someone else. Right. What does that look like?

You can't just say here's what Cheryl does. Therefore it works for me. It's not that way. And that's why it is important to tailor it. It's why it's important to take a step back and be honest with yourself and that self-awareness to go, how am I wired? What does that look like? What will it look like for me to actually rest and then not be fooling yourself and saying, well, rest for me is work.

No, that's not the way it works. Right. And I've talked to many people who have said that. They're like, no, I just need to work more. That's my rest. I get, I get energy from that. That's that's. I mean flat out is a lie and it's, and it's it's I mean, workaholics, definitely. I was an attorney for eight years.

I saw it. I know it it's a disease, right. It's something that we need to say and it is making us sick and it's burning us out. So anyway, and that's

[00:18:50] Cheryl: in and out really quick on that really important aspect to this is that here's, here's the reality. There are several different types of continuing education [00:19:00] classes.

Cause I consider what I do. Continued education for coaches. A lot of obviously D one coaches have to have a bachelor's degree. Some of them have master's degree, but it means nothing. It absolutely means nothing. It goes out the door eventually because they're focused on their job. Now, in terms of what schools and colleges provide coaches, this is some of continuing education.

The problem is, is the rest of the recovery phase. It is literally something that I focus on is having that unique. relationship with my coaches. So I understand their personality type. I understand what's going to work for you. Are you going to be that kind of coach that's? Well, my, my downtime is me getting emails out and doing this, but that's not rest and recovery.

So it has to be tailored specifically to each individual coach. It's not just a one size fits all kind of things, but unfortunately, a lot of continued education is just. It is literally by the book. This is what we do. So is that resonating to you? Is it soaking in [00:20:00] probably. You know, nothing's going to change.


[00:20:03] Phil: while we find that with pretty much all of our education, right? Unfortunately if it's not a individualized education of whatever, I'm not going to get into that conversation, but we do that. We teach to a text or we teach to a book, we teach to a, you know, here's the stuff you need to learn, learn it, and now go and yeah.

And. Made for every personality style. Let's leave it at that. But neither are, like you said, we do webinars. We do. Courses, we do online stuff and, and it works for some and some absolutely love it, but it's typically the people that are like the person who made the course are the ones who love that course.

Yeah. Right. And, and some information isn't great for online. Same way, some information isn't great taught by a certain person. And so, I mean, everyone knows that just by virtue. If you've been through university. A great professor can make the most boring subject really exciting [00:21:00] and a not so great professor could make best subject in the world.

And that's the reality. Somebody's like, oh yeah, I tried that. I didn't like, well, it doesn't work that way. Right. It's like sports psychology. It's like, you know, the mindset talking with Brad Miller, talking with you about it. It's, it's something. Just say, oh yeah, I tried meditation didn't work well, yeah.

It may not work for you to go sit in a room for 45 minutes, especially if you try to just do that right off the bat. If you're a high, I very outgoing personality. It won't

[00:21:35] Cheryl: right. Different steps there. Things that you have to be ready for. Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely.

[00:21:41] Phil: So we could talk for hours and hours of this.

I have no doubt. But we're not going to, if people want to learn more about it, definitely connect with, with Cheryl, we're going to have, you know, we'll get you the website actually, right. Once you just tell everyone the website right now, so they can go and connect with you that way. Yes.

[00:21:56] Cheryl: [00:22:00] www.gravitationalperformance.org.

[00:22:00] Phil: Okay. And we'll have that. Yeah, we'll have that on the, on the website. The link to that on the show notes for this show. All right. Well, let's, let's transition a little bit, you talked about playing different sports. Noticeably absent from that list with soccer, which is perfectly fine.

but you did, you played competitive sports and you played, you played a few of them and he did very well. So what, what did you learn from those sports that you've used in your, program, your coaching coaches, as well as just your leadership and, what you're doing.

[00:22:30] Cheryl: You know, I've been asked this question a million times and I sit and really think about it and I can't really put it like many people can say, oh, I learned this one thing.

I haven't really learned something in particular other than self-discipline just showing up is a big deal. Right. Cause I, I go back and I always, I always think about when I was a young athlete, what it was at that time. I'm a different person today. So really where I was at in that time was [00:23:00] completely different.

It was the passion, the motivation that drives sometimes waking up and realizing like, why am I going to run six miles from cattle guard to cattle guard in Texas? And why the heck am I doing this to myself? today I look at it. Well, I showed up. I had to have some type of discipline motivation, something that drove me to continue doing.

And today really that's what it is, is self discipline for me. I mean, I've had two. And, you know, I've, I've spoken to you about this. I'm a full-time mom. I homeschool two boys. My husband has been a special operations Marine for almost 17 years. I run an organization in school. It's just, non-stop a lot of that is self discipline and sports has taught me to show up or else nothing is gonna, nothing's gonna happen.

It's on me. So. Self-discipline really?

[00:23:55] Phil: No. Yeah, that's a absolutely, it's a great, [00:24:00] a great lesson that we can all we can all take from it. And it's absolutely true. I think about that. I mean, it just, recently I got a text from a kid who's like, I got all these different things going on and I'm not gonna be able to make practice every day.

And, and you know, and you, you want to work with people, but at the same time you got to say, To be part of the team you need to show up and you gotta figure it out and coach high school. And we talked to our, to our girls and we say, look in life, you need to learn to balance everything. So if you can't make practice every once in a while, that's one thing.

But if it's a regular thing, At what point do you cease to be part of the team? Do you cease to be part of the, what we're doing? And so, yeah, absolutely. And that applies literally to everything. If you just told your boss, Hey boss, I can't, I can't show up half the time. It'd be like, you got to find a different job.

Exactly. So, all right. I, this is a total shock. This is a shocker question for you. It's an age old question. I need you to help to resolve this debate that's been going on for decades, at [00:25:00] least is cheerleading a sport.

[00:25:02] Cheryl: Oh my God. Did you really just

[00:25:04] Phil: ask me? I did. I did. Let me

[00:25:07] Cheryl: ask you this. I'm going to throw a question back.

I'm good. Everybody knows Cheryl.

[00:25:13] Phil: Well, and that's, that was where I was going to go with it. And that's the question I asked you, that's the beauty of being the host. I can ask the question and I can wait for your answer and then I just

[00:25:24] Cheryl: respond to it. I'll just have you on my podcast, you back, that's going to be the title.

Yes. Cheerleading is a sport. I believe that anything in competition, anything that takes training, anything that works, the mental and the physical. It was a sport. Is gaming sports e-sports yeah. Their sports is my husband's job is sport. Absolutely. So yeah, cheerleading is a sport and it's something that comes up a lot because people are like, wait, what?

You were a cheerleader. I know. And maybe I'll send you that. And you can post that cheerleading photo of me [00:26:00] up there. I was a flyer and yeah, I did the gymnastics tumbling on all that, but it was a sport.

There's a, we can have a whole episode on that. I did it from, I did it from 11 to 18. I was offered several scholarships to go cheer. And I was very good and won some NCAA award for tumbling, yada, yada, but cheerleading just was like, no, it wasn't for me. So I'm sorry for you cheerleaders out there.

You know, you, you got it. You apologize. I was a track athlete. That was my favorite thing, so, okay.

[00:26:39] Phil: And from there was a sport for him, so I don't think you gotta, you gotta, you know, and, and w I think the important thing. You define the term, right? So some people will define sport differently and they might say dance is not, and all these other things are not.

And the fact the matter is it's a silly, it's a silly debate, right? At the end of the day, it's silly. It's, [00:27:00] it's crazy. Some of the things dancers do watching, like, so you think you can dance, but you watch that with my, with my kids and then. Athleticism stuff. I don't know if you've ever watched that show, but they did a thing like at Nike, I think it was, and they went and saw the performance and the actual the flexibility and movement and athleticism.

However, they determined it. And the dancers were like off the charts and the end. That's why you see a lot of these football players going. Like, I remember Willie Gault back in the day, it was receiver for the Bears and he did ballet with like the Chicago whatever the ballet company was and he became a better receiver.

Right. You know, and, and that's the cross-discipline stuff we talk about in sports, to play different sports is critical. And the kids are losing that nowadays to do dance. I did drama as a kid and loved it. Right. And that's TM, right. That's being able to do stuff and, you know, orchestras and seeing how they come together.

If you're not on the same page, Literally, they call it. I mean, that's the saying we have, right. If you're not on the same sheet of [00:28:00] music that comes from, obviously if you're not playing on that, it's going to be ugly and something in sports, same thing in cheerleading and dance, all that. Right. How do we, how do we gauge it in?

And it's, the athleticism is unbelievable.

[00:28:13] Cheryl: So it's that competition. It's that team cohesion, that building of character and who you become. I mean, there's a lot to cheerleading that many people. Don't don't understand uh, recognize it takes hours and hours and hours. of training and, figuring out that routine, especially if you're, I know for us in Texas, cheerleading is big.

Cheerleading is a big sport in Texas football and cheerleading. And those two, I mean, I also, I haven't ever told anybody this I've been on so many podcasts webinars, but I played in bands. I played the clarinet. From probably about the same time, 12, 13, all the way up to 18. So I would be in my cheerleading uniform and then I would be in the marching band half time.

And then I would, the next day [00:29:00] go and I don't know whatever it was. I would be running at track, so I was always in sports. So anything that I could do to keep myself active mentally and physically, that is a sport.

[00:29:12] Phil: I love it. I love it. I love it. And yeah, it reminds me, as you talked about that, where I'd go from soccer practice to the drama, rehearsal, and it was, it was always fun, you know? but, uh, They're all different cultures though, too. That that's a whole different podcast. I think it's why I've always been kind of on the fringes of a lot of different groups, because I, I appreciate all of them, you know, they're all a blast, but talk about, talk about mental side of the game.

I remember my, my conversation with one of my best friends and he, His daughter got a full ride to TCU as a, as a cheerleader. And he would talk about the intensity of if she doesn't land this, or if she doesn't do this exactly right. She's out of the travel squad or this.

And she was, she was stressing out, you know, just because if you get dropped or if you do this, or you do [00:30:00] that, it's like one mistake and you're gone and it's like, oh my gosh,

[00:30:04] Cheryl: It's holding that position, right? If you're like cheer captain, like I was for a long time, I had some other girls, please. I hope they're not watching this, but they were, they were fighting for that position.

You know? AI, it was tough. My, I had a natural gift and I'm blessed with that to be able to tumble and I didn't have to go and practice. And a lot of athletes do a lot of cheerleaders. Do you know, have to go to gymnastics every weekend and go and do those classes. A lot of people don't understand the different dynamics that do go into it, but the mental is that girls cheerleaders are, it's a tough love.

And if you, if you fail, then the rest of the team will fail. So that's a big deal. Everything is on you. And if you don't show up, the rest of the team might fall you might be that person that is holding them up. [00:31:00] You might be their base really. And so a lot of pressure to perform very much. So, I mean, I remember several competitions and if you don't land, if you don't have your hands straight, if.

You know, it's, if you're thrown up in the air and you move wrong or you fall, it causes the rest of the team to fall and it's all on you. So it's, there's a lot of pressure in that

[00:31:21] Phil: sport. Yeah. the teamwork is to even just watch, I mean, watch some of those things. It's, there's a lot that goes into all these different things.

Right. And so. And they're all different performances. So to speak, whether it's soccer or football, I, a football, if the lineman decides to go a different way, it's going to cause an injury, probably something in cheerleading, a fun person. Like I, you know what, I don't feel like catching her right now.

Well, that's when you see, I mean, you see the little things that happens, major injuries, right? So, and I, I think hearing this, even just talking about band. I mean, both you and me, we've done a lot of different things and I think that helps with the perspective with coaching people on different things.

I think it's [00:32:00] why we probably are drawn to that too, because we see these different aspects of it from different, you know, Commonalities. We see the things that are the same, so we can come into really any sport. Doesn't really matter what it is. You soccer here because that's my main sport, but I could talk to, I mean, we've talked to lacrosse coaches here, talking with you, talking with Cori Close of UCLA Basketball.

Like all these different people who are at different levels, but the conversations are really around a lot of the same things. Right. And I think that's what is, you know, going back to the, you know, sports, psychology stuff too, is hopefully we're not just using this in sports and leaving it there. If we're not taking the lessons from these sports, we're wasting what most of sports is teaching us and able to do for us.

[00:32:45] Cheryl: Absolutely a hundred percent. And I mean, a lot of things that were thought, you know, going back to my early education was just that, I mean, why do you play sports? Why do you enter your kids in sports? Why do, why do people join sports teams?

You know, a lot of it, [00:33:00] there's many different aspects, as many different reasons, whether you didn't play when you were younger, but all of a sudden you realize that you're part of a team today, but I mean, sports can bring so much to. And you just have to be open to it. you may be an introvert and now you've joined a team a CrossFit team, whatever.

Now you absolutely have a passion and drive to be around others and to inspire lead. It's your motivation? It's your cup of coffee, if you will. I mean, self-discipline everything, it rolls over into the workplace. It rolls over into your family life. There's a lot that can be applied outside of the sport sector.


[00:33:41] Phil: The next question. I've, I've loved, always love to hear what, how people answer this. What is your personal, why your life purpose and how is that playing out in what you're doing?

[00:33:51] Cheryl: My life purpose is to help others, whether it's guiding them educationally, whether it's motivation, it's to be able to [00:34:00] deliver what God's given me, you know?

And if I can do that for the next person, it doesn't matter. What, what age, what level. Even if you're outside of outside of the sport sector, you know, that is that's. My purpose is to be able to provide my knowledge, my assistance, and to bettering in terms of the sport community it's to better the coaches, to better the athlete, to be a soundboard, to be able to say, Hey, I understand what you're going through.

Let's try to figure this out.

[00:34:29] Phil: I think that's why we, we connect. I think that's sort of similar why's that help others flourish and make good things better as mine. And so that sounds like you're very similar in that regard. Yeah, absolutely. So, on that, when you're working with these coaches, what is one thing.

It could be a couple, but what is it that you hope all the coaches, players, that you work with, parents that you work with that you impact that they'll understand and live out as they experience what gravitational performance have to offer?

[00:34:58] Cheryl: Well, I hope that they [00:35:00] can, you know, whether it be somebody that's going in maybe they're an assistant coach, maybe they're new to this, or maybe it's a coach that's been in for a long time, 20 years left, you know?

I, I just hope that they can take away what it is that they came in for and what they started working with me, their goals, they can achieve their goals, whether it be to eat better to, be more mindful, to stress less, to learn something new that they haven't learned. Ultimately though that it's the guidance and that, coaches realize that they do need somebody there.

I'm not an assistant, I'm not a bookkeeper. I'm not somebody that's going to say, okay, I'll make that phone call for you. I am literally motivation. And I am literally education. And with that, I hope that coaches can take that away and say, you know what? Gravitational performance helps me coach McCormick, Cheryl, whatever helps me in my process.

Even as a weathered coach, somebody who's been in the industry for a long time. I [00:36:00] wish that I had this when I was younger coming in, you know? And, and it can go so many directions because they offer so much information and guidance for coaches. Yep. Yeah, absolutely. The best coaches continue and always learn.

They don't just shut the door and say, well, I got my degree or I'm done or whatever. And here's the thing. You know, my former years in, in nursing, I worked with patient care. I learned a lot about. Helping out, taking care of people, personalities, I realized that continued education is where it, that our research is always changing.

Now, are we finding new things? Not all the time, but we're finding better ways to change the performance. You know, whether it's the physical or the psychological. And there's, like we said earlier, you know, there's some professors, there's some coaches that can deliver it in a better way and really, oh, oh, I get [00:37:00] it now versus, okay.

Flip the page to number five and here, read this, you know, I just, I feel that coaches, they deserve. And the best coaches that I've seen, they are always eager to learn whether it's self-help books, motivation guidance. Now I've written about this, but you know, it scrapes the surface self-help books only scraped the surface and can only go so far.

They're great. Cause it might be like a light bulb just came on and that screams to me because that's something that I'm going through right now as a coach, I'm tired, but. How far do they really take it? And that's my goal is to push them past that point. So you can actually start implementing it, whether it's bettering their performance or their team's performance.

[00:37:48] Phil: well, like you said, I think the best coaches are learners and are continually learning, but I believe this, everybody needs a coach. Everyone needs a mentor. Everyone needs someone to [00:38:00] push them. And I don't care who you are. You need someone to push you to be better. Otherwise you're going to go stagnant.

Otherwise it's too easy to just rest on our laurels, especially the higher we get in whatever we're doing. If you're the coach at number one school in the country, it's easy to say, man, I must be doing something right. What do they know? How can they help me? Yeah, the reality is everybody needs someone to walk alongside them, to push them to be better because you can always be better.

And you're never perfect and you can always be better. And so, and, and the reality is we all know, just go to the gym and work out. If someone's not pushing you, you will not go to. What you can do. I have a guy who reminds me every time I go to him and that's why I stay away from him quite frankly, that your body can do a lot more than you think it can do.

Your mind can do a lot more than you think it can do. The more we have on brain research and neuroscience into [00:39:00] here, the plasticity of the brain and how our brain is continually renewing itself. And how are we doing that? How are we making it healthy versus toxic? All these things. 20 probably years. It's crazy.

Then when I started doing the orphan care stuff, they were like, well, if you don't catch them by two, three years old, they're kinda out of luck. And you're like, well, that's depressing. Then brain science obviously changes and changes. It can actually be renewed. Like this is amazing,

[00:39:29] Cheryl: you have to have the right people.

You have to have the right person though. And that's why it's so important for me. And that's why I can't stress it enough. You know, schools might have a process or program that they offer, oh, you want continued education. You want to, you know, whatever, if you're, you know, your certifications, whatever, take these classes, but it's not about.

That's not what it's about. It's about you showing up and how do you get somebody who stubborn or been in the industry for so long to say they need to show up, it's [00:40:00] by understanding them as an individual and motivating them in a way that a book or a class isn't going to do that, you know?

but you have to have the right person by your side to help motivate you through that process.

[00:40:12] Phil: All right. Well, we have the last couple of questions we ask everybody. One of them may be a similar answer. It may not be maybe something completely different. I don't know. But what lessons have you learned directly from the sports that you've played that you have used in your marriage and your parenting?

[00:40:29] Cheryl: Oh my well, so I said I'm married to a special operations Marine. I can't say that in my parenting. I'm there. Not like you you know, they're kind of just jumping in and a lot of people actually would say you know, Cheryl, I bet your kids are going to be amazing. Athletes, look at you. You've done it.

You know? No, that's not my goal. It's not, my focus is to make them a mini me. So I really haven't implemented too much in there. I try to stay out and stay away from the coaches and [00:41:00] cause. It's it's human nature to become judgemental and want to critique on the sideline, you know, but I just let them do their thing.

So right now they're too young, but in terms of my marriage and my life, I would say that. You know, some of the best advice that I've given my husband, that he can also give to his, the other guys that he's worked with for many years is the mental mindset aspect and the rest and recovery. Everything that I believe in that I believe is a vicious cycle.

It's the same in terms of that. A lot of that comes home because that's at the forefront of somebody like myself. I'm married to his job, literally. We move, we do. It's he's gone. I'm having to change my dynamics. But you know, self-discipline, it, it's big and it's in our marriage too. So, there's, there's, that's a whole different podcast.

I could say so much to that from nutrition to everything, you know, but I believe that, like we said earlier that a lot of a lot [00:42:00] of things that I cover can. Play out outside of the sports, you know, the sports spectrum.

[00:42:05] Phil: Yeah. It's funny you say that you talked about the rest of recovery and nutrition.

I just, I just did DISC training with my daughter's 13 year old soccer team. And. It was really interesting. I had to totally tailor it for ed to do differently than I normally do. I had to change some words up, whatever, but my daughter was there. And so I actually put on the spot a couple of times, which is funny, cause she's super reserved.

So she doesn't like that. But, the example I used was my personality style. When I'm unhealthy, when I'm stressed, I get angry. And now that I'm self-aware about that, I try to count five or whatever it is that I know I don't ever do that, but maybe take a break, take a breath, go outside, whatever, get away is typically what I have to do.

But if I'm hungry, you know, that hangry thing is a real deal for certain personality styles, especially right. Others might withdraw, others might get hyper-critical. Others [00:43:00] might just, do other things. but when I said to him, So Kirsten when I'm hungry, when I'm tired, when I'm doing their things, I get angry pretty quick, huh?

She goes, yeah, yeah, you do They know. Right. And so these things are, and again, in sports, Not getting the proper recovery. If you're knocking the proper nutrition, you're not going to be great teammate. You're going to get hurt more easily. You're going to burn out more easily. All these things are absolutely true and that applies to life 100%

[00:43:28] Cheryl: and that's learning self-awareness though, you know, that's something that could be taught at a, at a young age.

It's very difficult. I've been asked several times, you know, my early childhood or my early, years in sports. And it's just that I was clueless to a lot of things. Had I had somebody like me, I would have thrived, And I just said that I've picked up a golf athlete. She's four times state or, well, hopefully this year, four times state But, I didn't have somebody to work with me in terms of recognizing that a lot of coaches [00:44:00] don't even know that, they're too busy focusing on their athletes and getting them to perform.

So they don't get fired. You know, so who's working on them. how did they become self-aware. You know, I'm hangry and I hate this, so that's the start of it is identifying, recognizing.

[00:44:17] Phil: 100%. All right. Last question. Always bittersweet.

Cause it means we're at the end of the episode, but I also like to learn. So what have you read listened to, to, or watch that has most impacted your thinking on how sports explain life and leadership? I

[00:44:30] Cheryl: love sports shows. All American. I love that show. I know. I'm sorry. If you really Cheryl, all American, what is the other show?

Friday night lights. That's older, so good. I mean, those shows and there's another one Last Chance U. Is that

[00:44:46] Phil: it? Yeah. I have not watched that, but yeah, They're

[00:44:48] Cheryl: good. What they do for me and I'll find myself watching as I'm trying to take notes. So, something we didn't cover, I'm also a content developer if for education and I create a lot of content just [00:45:00] started uh, interactive publication magazine, first issues out.

Like a week ago anyways, I like to dive in and watch those shows. Last Chance U, I want to say is really motivating for me because I get. See from real life perspective, it's not just, you know, what drama there's drama in it, but I get to kind of see how the coaches are in different sports that I didn't engage in.

So I can take my personal experiences as a former athlete in yada yada, yada. But I get to see soccer coaches and football coaches, primarily football, American football, but, and I can actually put that to play and realize, okay, well, there's a lot of coaches that are angry and have a lot of stress and they take it out on the teams and how they communicate and all this stuff.

So what I take from those shows is just that I realized that that is the reality of sports. It scares athletes away and motivates them, athletes. It, you know, How well do the coaches succeed in their professions? There's a [00:46:00] lot of things that I can take away from TV shows

[00:46:03] Phil: absolutely. Yeah. And it's funny cause I, I started watching all American cause my kids were watching and I wanted to make sure that it was okay. And I got, I got hooked.

I'm not going to lie. it's an interesting story. They did a good job with that. Even my son though. He's like, yeah, the acting's not great in it. And I'm like, man, I could be better, but you know what? It's not that bad. I've seen a lot worse. That's for sure. So, but yeah, I too, I think I watch things differently now, like you were talking about to be able to watch the coaches and to be able to see, okay, what are the issues here?

How could we help that? What could that look like? Where are the things that they, they aren't self-aware that they are in there because they're not self-aware, this is happening, that's happening. And that's you see most things when you're looking from the other side could have been prevented with appropriate conversations with better parenting, quite frankly, a lot of times, but as coaches, we are going to be parents sometimes to the kids to.

The way it is, but if we're not healthy in who [00:47:00] we are, and we're more focused on wins and losses and everything else, then the health of the team, as we talk about the dirty little secret is when you're healthy as a person, when you're healthy as a team, you're going to win more games. Yeah. You know, you gotta have a talent of course, but you gotta have

[00:47:14] Cheryl: the team cohesion.

That's the biggest thing. It's the, it's the athlete to coach relationship and vice versa, the coach to athlete relationship, and that's major factor in there. And I'm able to step out and see that today. Like you were saying, they also really highlight, they do good on shows, like all American highlight on trending topics, if you will, that are, that are taking, you know, as of current in our society.

And so I'm able to really step back and be like, Hmm, I see that perspective.

[00:47:41] Phil: Yeah, That's absolutely right. Well, thank you again for being a part of the show for being part of the conversation. Really enjoy getting to know you a little bit on clubhouse, as you talked about also just our conversations we've been able to have.

Thanks for being part of the. Yeah. Thank you. All right, folks. Well, thanks again for your download. [00:48:00] Thanks again for being part of the conversation, just for engaging. It wouldn't, it definitely wouldn't be the same without you. if you want to connect with Cheryl, we'll have all that information on the show notes and we'll have also the different ways to get ahold of me.

And if you want to get ahold of Paul, you do that, just do that through email. Phil@howsoccerexplainsleadership.com and we'll go from there. But most importantly, we hope that you're taking everything you're learning from this show. You're using it to help you to be a better parent, to be a better spouse, to be a better leader in whatever you're doing.

And you use it at all to help you understand that sports and soccer, explain life and leadership. Thanks a lot. Have a great week.