IYCA Youth Fitness Specialist Spotlight
I am licensed professional counselor in the state of Connecticut
and work as a child and adolescent clinician at Natchaug Hospital.
I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Eastern
Connecticut State University and was a four year collegiate soccer
player earning All-Region and All-New England accolades as a
defender. I completed my Master’s degree in Clinical Mental
Health Counseling with a concentration in child and adolescent
psychology at Springfield College.
My experience includes working inpatient, partial hospital
programs, in-home therapy for children and adolescents in crisis, facilitating
parenting classes and writing articles for parenting magazines. I
enforce the importance of movement and play with both children
and their families. I also work on youth nutrition with children
who are currently taking psychiatric medications that often
cause weight gain.
In addition, I’m an assistant soccer coach for the U-16 girls’
Southeast Premier Soccer Club and run high school soccer
strength and conditioning clinics. I currently have the following
IYCA certifications: Youth Fitness Specialist 1, High School
Strength and Conditioning, Youth Nutrition and Youth Fitness
for children with Special Needs.
The IYCA certifications have Impacted my work as both a therapist and coach.
I feel the overall philosophy of the program can be utilized when
working with any group of kids, whether it’s fitness related or not.
The IYCA emphasizes building upon the child’s current strengths
while empowering them to become better athletes with a focus
on injury prevention. I like the break down on how to work with
specific athletes based on both the level of skill and motivation.
The course material is easy to understand and can be applied
in various environments. I use many of the youth nutrition
handouts with both children in therapy and my high school
athletes as well as incorporating the games from the youth
fitness certification into group therapy.
In relation to coaching, my strength and conditioning clinic
sessions were based on the principles provided in the high
school strength and conditioning book (mobility, dynamic
stretching vs. static stretching, speed and agility with emphasis
on decelerating and accelerating properly, etc.) I would recommend
any professional working with children and adolescents (coaches,
various teachers, therapists and other childcare providers) to
become certified through the IYCA organization.
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