ABOUT

Feb 28, 2020: This section is usually filled with professional accolades and mine was as well up until a short time ago.  But this website is not about my profession life.  The worst possible thing that could happen is that I could look back at my life and say that the only thing I did for the world was to make a few athletes stronger in the gym or better at hitting a baseball.  By trade I'm a hitting coach, but in reality, I'm a student, athlete, minimalist, feminist and nomad.  Those are things that I resonated with long before my career and will be with me long after my career in sports is over.

 

Everyone has different methods of growth, but my drinks of choice are traveling and training.  More specifically, I've lived in 15 cities in the past 12 years, I visited 9 countries in the past year and I just moved to Tampa to start a new job with the Yankees as a minor league hitting coach.   My training has ranged from being a college softball player, to a wannabe beach volleyball player to now exploring more organic strength with the Ido Portal method and Crossfit. I also genuinely love meeting people who are what I like to call 'seekers.' In all of the traveling that I've done, I've met some really and truly incredible people have decided to start a podcast to share some of their stories.  You can listen to the Theta Wave Podcast here.

One of my main passions is teaching and the biggest outlet for me at the moment is being a strength and conditioning coach.  I have worked for 3 different professional baseball organizations in the past 7 years as a strength and conditioning coach including the Houston Astros, St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Whitesox. I was just recently hired as a minor league hitting coach for the New York Yankees.  I happen to be the first woman to have worked as a full time strength and conditioning coach and also as a full time hitting coach in professional baseball.  Before baseball I worked at LSU, ASU, and EXOS.  I also had the pleasure of working with the Dutch national baseball and softball teams last year in Amsterdam while I completed my second master's degree. Most recently, I worked at Driveline baseball while completing my research in eye tracking for hitters. 

 

Teaching stretches beyond the weight room for me which has led to the development of a course for young people who want to follow the same career path as me: The Virtual Handshake Academy. The Virtual Handshake Academy funds my (upcoming) scholarship for young professionals as 25% of all profits go towards the scholarship.

Also keep an eye out for my first ever women's retreat that will kick off in mid November. It's a 3 day retreat called FEM (Female Executive Mentorships) that Jen Widerstrom and I have started to provide professional female mentorship for up and coming women in every industry. There will be curriculum from 6 speakers including Jen and I, mentor led activities, mentor one on one's and some fun outdoors action in Montana. Bring an open heart and mind and be prepared to learn from some absolute badass women that have been there and done that! Attendance is by application only and we will be opening applications April 2020. Email me for details. 

*Young professional seeking career advice??? Please contact me through my site: 

www.virtualhandshakeacademy.com

Wanna chat? Shoot me an email: rachel@rachelbalkovec.com

 

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