May 17, 2023 | Leigh Alan Klein

On Friday, May 5th, Soldiers To Sidelines graduated its latest class of Certified Soldier Coaches with the completion of the 4th Annual Power Sports Performance Seminar, presented by TeamBuildr. 

With over 300 registrations, the popularity of the Seminar is a great testament to Director Johannah Zabal, a pioneer in this industry.   

Setting the tone on opening night, Martin Rooney, the first sports performance specialist to prepare fighters for the largest MMA events in the World, coached the class to “keep punching”, that sometimes when our persistence isn’t working, we need to reframe it, that it might mean it just isn’t working YET. 

Coach Martin Rooney

“Dr. Jacked” himself, Coach Scott Caulfield, Director of Strength and Conditioning for Norwich University, shared his transition story and how his military service made him a more disciplined and organized coach. 

On the second day, former NFL player & founder of the Eagle Fund, Alex Lincoln shared his knowledge of team communication & how we as coaches hold the standards that will help us steer the expectations of our athletes. Afterwards, Giovani Urrutia, Programming Manager of Education, Tactical, and Sport at EXOS, spoke on Energy System Development & broke down the complex subject with consumable metaphors from the finance, tactical & nutrition realms. 

Day 3 focused on the importance of recovery for adaptation.  The subject of sleep science was covered by Army neuroscientist, Allison Brager, while the nutrition topic was covered by sports dietitian, Stephanie Mull. Both talks sparked numerous questions & set the stage for a lifetime of curiosity & learning.  

For the rest of the week, attendees were able to learn about programming & periodization while experiencing it hands on with the help of our partner TeamBuildr, delivered by their Director of Tactical, RK Barker.   The class utilized the TeamBuildr programming software and learned how to best implement it when setting up a plan for their teams, creating their own unique programs. 

XFL Director of Player Performance, Sean Hayes, discussed in detail the internship experience that two of Soldiers To Sidelines Soldier Coaches received this season.  

The seminar closed with the inspirational story of MAJ (Ret) Jon Turnbull, a retired Civil Affairs soldier who was injured in Syria after an ISIS suicide bomber detonated a bomb that killed four of his teammates.   

Jon details his journey after being left blind and wounded, having to undergo 22 surgeries over 24 months to overcome the possibility of death and begin recovery.  

Major Jon Turnbull

Jon’s doctors continually gave him “zero percent chance,” yet he continued on.  With this message he inspired our group to continue on and reinforced the Seminar’s theme of persistence and tenacity.   

Turnbull reinforced, that our job is to help prepare whomever we are working with to be as ready as possible for their mission, on the playing field or the battlefield.  

Soldiers To Sidelines is thrilled to welcome this class of Soldier Coaches to the STS Tribe!