Meet the Mentors

There are over X number of highly specialized and trained mentors available in the following 5 categories as part of the Mentors Express program:

Psychology Mentors

Brenley Shapiro is a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist and Sports Psychology & Performance Consultant. Holding an Honours degree in Psychology, a Specialized Honours degree in Fine Arts with a focus on Movement Therapy, and a Masters degree in Clinical/Counselling, Social Work, she brings a depth of knowledge and theoretical framework into her applied practice. Further advancing her knowledge base, Brenley has done additional Sports Psychology and Sports Vision certification and training, consistently staying on top of the most current trends, latest research, and advances within the field. Brenley is also an active member of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology.

Brenley has been in private practice for over 15 years, counselling individuals, children, families, and athletes, and is the founder of Heads Up Mental Game Coaching. Established in 2011, Heads Up is a comprehensive training academy focused on developing all aspects of an athlete’s mental game. Heads Up was conceived with the purpose of creating a superior standard of training and development for athletes, along with a system which ensures the evolution of the complete player. Her current scope of practice focuses on work with athletes, teams, coaches, parents, and organizations, helping them reach their overall performance goals.

Brenley has a true passion for helping her clients develop a strong and ideal mindset, in order to facilitate the pathway towards success, both in life and in sport. Her most profound contribution however, is incomparable ability to teach, motivate, inspire and connect with all those she works with. Her work in sport is gaining momentum in Canada and the United States, by positively impacting the overall quality of the competitive playing experience. Brenley is working tirelessly to become a forerunner in setting a new precedent for what effective training and development of growing athletes “should” look like.

Sean Poitras is a Performance Enhancement Consultant. He holds a B.A. in Psychology, an H.B.A. in Sport Psychology and a M.Ed. in Athletic Counselling Psychology, which has equipped him well for his applied practice within the field of mental training.

Sean has taught the Psychology of Sport course at Sheridan College, and continues to work with a variety of athletic teams, organizations and associations. Sean has experience working with athletes of all ages and competitive skill levels and remains enthusiastic towards furthering his applied practice and experiences with coaches and the athletic population.

Sean is affiliated with the Association of Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) and is very consistent in staying up to date in all current research and advances within the field of sport psychology.

Dr. Natascha Wesch  works with athletes, coaches, performing artists, and teams of all backgrounds, ages, and experience levels.  Natascha holds a doctorate degree (PhD) in Sport Psychology, a master degree (MA) in Counselling Psychology, and a master degree (MSc) in Exercise Biochemistry from Western University. As well, she completed a post-doctorate fellowship in Health and Rehabilitation Psychology at McMaster University working with individuals with spinal cord injury. She obtained her undergraduate degree (BSc) in Exercise Science from Concordia University.

Natascha is a former international-level multi-sport athlete and coach, and a current high-performance coach mentor with the Canadian Sport Institute. Natascha teaches in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Western University in London and has been part of the Experts Express program for the past few years.

Natascha is registered with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA), a professional member of the Canadian Sport Psychology Association (CSPA), and a member of the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA).

Natascha Wesch

Natascha Wesch

Leith Drury completed her PhD in Sport Psychology, with a focus on Coaches’ Perceptions of Emotional and Social Intelligence. Currently, she is a consultant for the varsity teams and coaches at Ryerson University, and a service provider for the Canadian Sport Institute.

Ms. Drury continues to work with athletes and coaches from individual sports such as figure skating, tennis, golf, judo, triathlon, gymnastics, archery and riding, as well as team sports like hockey, soccer, cricket and field hockey. She also provides support to corporate clients including the University of Toronto, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, YMCA, the Coaches Association of Ontario, and Hamilton Health Services. In addition, she is presently a learning facilitator for both the National Coaching Institute and the Coaches Association of Ontario.

Corey McCusker, is a Mental Performance Coach, Keynote Speaker and Author. Corey has been in private practice for over 10 years coaching individuals and teams including business professionals, coaches and elite young athletes ages 13-16. She founded Master the Mind, Master the Game for Sports, Business and Life in 2010. Her programs include assessment tools, key components of the mental skills and mental performance techniques that enhance and deliver key traits for peak performance. Corey`s mission is to provide the necessary mental skills to overcome stuck states, performance slumps, anxiety and to remove mental distractions so her clients can perform with ease and “in the zone”.  Corey`s experience includes working with members of Team Canada U17 in Hockey and in Golf as well as delivering educational webinars for the LPGA. In addition to golf and hockey, Corey continues to support a wide variety of sports including: running, baseball, soccer, equestrian, rugby, tennis, snowboarding, skiing, figure skating and judo.

Corey is a Master Practitioner of NLP, Time Empowerment Techniques™ and Hypnosis. In addition, Corey is trained in Brain Gym and is currently pursuing certification as a HeartMathÒ Interventions Practitioner. Before following her passion to help young athletes, Corey held several senior management roles in the financial services industry mentoring and leading high performing teams.

Growing up in Lévis, Québec, Patrick began coaching when he was 16 years old. While completing his level 1 ski coaching course, he developed a passion for helping others realize their potential. His interest for sport science led him to complete a Kinesiology degree at University of Trois-Rivières. From there, Patrick coached full time during the day and worked in gyms in the evenings. He used this time to develop his coaching philosophy, coaching skills and ability to develop athletes more effectively both in the gym and on snow. After 2 years, Patrick went back to school to complete a Master’s degree in Applied Sport Psychology at the University of Ottawa and became a certified Professional Member of the Canadian Sport Psychology Association. While in Ottawa, Patrick worked in Strength Training and Mental Performance with varsity Rugby, Soccer and Basketball and was also the Strength & Conditioning Coach for the Ottawa Fury Professional Women’s Soccer team. This amazing experience led him to work with National Team players from Canada, USA, Australia, New-Zealand, England and Norway.

Patrick been coaching skiing for 16 years, is a Performance Level Certified coach, as well as a ski coach Evaluator. As Head coach for the U14 program at Caledon Ski Club, Patrick develops and delivers Mental Performance workshops and the dryland training programs.  Three years ago Patrick became a Learning Facilitator for the NCCP program, delivering Comp-Dev modules in Sport Psychology and Leadership. Patrick is very excited to be available to help coaches progress in the coaching world through the Express Expert program with CAO.

As a Certified Canadian Counsellor (CCC) with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) and a member of the Canadian Sport Psychology Association (CSPA), Martine has a consulting philosophy focused on the person and on the whole human experience. Her interest is based on mental, emotional and physical well-being through life in general as well as diverse sport experiences.

Passionate about mental health in general, her approach is a short-term/solution focus using emotional resilience, CBT, mindfulness, mental skills, performance enhancement, stress/anxiety management, recovery and injury rehabilitation, emotional management, and positive personal development.

Her mission is to improve athletic performance and quality of life by bringing the individuals or teams to discover what is best within themselves for their sport or life, unlocking their full potential. She holds both a Master of Arts in Counselling (individual counselling) and a Master of Arts in Human Kinetics in Intervention and Consultation (sport psychology), as well as a Bachelor in Psychology.

As a bilingual Certified Canadian Counsellor and a Mental Performance Consultant, she has worked with a wide variety of athletes of various disciplines, ages and levels of competition (university, Olympic, provincial, Canada games, para-Olympic, pro athletes). She also delivers workshops on the topics of sport psychology.

Kathryn McGill is a sport psychology consultant and mental training coach. This follows a ten year career as a rower competing internationally, including several years on the national team. Academic training includes an M.A. from the University of Western Ontario where her thesis explored the use of imagery by athletes, a B.P.E. from the University of British Columbia, and a B.Ed. from the University of Toronto.

She has a wide variety of teaching and coaching experiences from junior and high school teams, to university and club teams. She has been a member of the Association of Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) and taught Sport Psychology for a term at Wilfrid Laurier University. Kathryn currently consults with teams and athletes from the recreational to international level. Kathryn returned to rowing in 2012, taking up sculling for the first time. She continues to compete and win internationally as a masters athlete. She is married with two grown children and has semi-retired to Gravenhurst, Ontario.

As a consultant, lecturer, and former university hockey goalie, Peter Papadogiannis, Ph.D. has been involved in a variety of athletic, organizational, and academic settings. As a Mental Performance Consultant, Peter has developed various systems and strategies aimed at improving athletic performance. Currently, Peter is a Mental Performance service provider for The Sports Clinic, Athletes Care, and Toronto SEMI.  Here, he consults with both able-bodied and athletes with a disability who compete at the national, international, intercollegiate, and professional levels.

Dr. Papadogiannis is also an adjunct faculty member of psychology at York University, the University of Guelph-Humber, and Sheridan College. He teaches a number of psychology courses including Sport & Exercise Psychology, Group Dynamics, and Test & Measurement. His general research area pertains to group dynamics in sport (athlete leadership and team cohesion), as well as mental skills training technology and its impact on cognition.

Dr. Papadogiannis is also the co-founder of HeadSet Sports. HeadSet is the first online mental training tool that provides a customized mental plan for enhancing an athlete’s level of mental skill and ability as they strive to improve their performance. Headset tracks athlete progress and uses artificial intelligence to adjust each program based on the athlete’s activity and mental state.

Kim is a professor of sport/exercise psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, ON, Canada. Her extensive education and research in psychomotor behaviour and exercise science gives her a deep understanding of the issues that affect performance. Working with elite athletes, Olympians, coaches, and professional sport organizations for over 15 years, Kim developed the principles of Mind2Achieve to support people in their quest for personal success.

Dr. Lorena Ruci is a psychotherapist at the Sport Medicine Clinic at Carleton University. She has a Ph.D. in psychology from Carleton University and a Master of Arts degree in counselling psychology from the University of Ottawa. In her clinic practice, she specializes in concussion management, sport psychology, anxiety, and depression management.

Her research interests span the cross disciplinary areas of self-regulation, motivation and mental health, particularly in competitive sports. For the past three years, Dr. Ruci has coordinated and facilitated concussion support groups at Carleton University. She is a proponent of the researcher-practitioner model and is dedicated to reducing mental health stigma and developing research-based interventions designed to improve people’s lives.

In her spare time, Dr. Ruci trains for half marathons, participate in charity volleyball tournaments with her team of 10 years, and continue to perfect her homemade yogurt skills.

Strength and Conditioning

Josh Ford  is currently the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach for the University of Guelph Gryphons and serves as a Strength & Conditioning Coach for Canada Basketball’s National Men’s Programs.

Josh received a Specialized Honours Degree in Kinesiology & Health Science from York University where he worked as a Student-Assistant S&C Coach. During this time he sought out opportunities to learn from the best which led him to an internship at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning outside of Boston and a mentorship with Todd Wright with the University of Texas Men’s Basketball program. From there he worked as a strength coach with the Stouffville Spirit Junior Hockey Club, was part of an OFSAA Championship with the Eastern Commerce Collegiate Saints Basketball program and spent a season and a half with Ryerson Men’s Basketball.

More recently Josh spent time in the NCAA making a stop at the University of Evansville before moving on to become Assistant Director of Basketball Performance at the University of Maryland. There he was fortunate to be part of an ACC Championship and went to the Elite 8 with the Women’s Basketball program. Prior to joining the Gryphons Josh spent a year with the McMaster Marauders working with the Volleyball and Basketball teams.

Tim’s passion and dedication to physical fitness, like many Canadians, began as a child with hockey, culminating with playing at the Junior “B” level for 5 years.  But Tim’s interest and involvement in athletics did not stop there. In 1996-1997, Tim became the North American Light Heavy Weight Muay Thai Champion.  For 4 years, he competed as a professional Muay Thai fighter and for an additional 4 years as a Professional Kick-boxer.

Tim has been a Professional Personal Trainer for 22 years. His unique skills and martial arts experience provide him with the knowledge and ability to help athletes of all ages and levels reach and surpass their goals.

Tim also founded Harrow Performance Personal Training and Sports Facility in Huntsville, Ontario.  From this facility, Tim provides training to athletes from a myriad of ages, abilities and sports, from amateur to semi-pro. Tim has a unique and uncanny ability to reach athletes as individuals. He creates and delivers customized training to meet a person’s individual needs and abilities.   Tim’s dedication, determination and experience bring each athlete he works with to the next level. This is illustrated in Harrow Performance’s Wall of Fame.  This is a wall at Harrow Performance dedicated to athletes who have pushed themselves, shown great dedication, overcome great obstacles and demonstrated leadership skills to inspire others.

Nick is the head strength and conditioning coach at Carleton University, where he oversees the training of eight varsity teams. Additionally, he currently serves as the lead strength and conditioning coach for Ringette Canada’s Senior and Junior National teams, and is a strength coach with Hockey Canada’s National Women’s programs.  He is a certified strength and conditioning coach, through the national strength and conditioning association.

Nick has gathered a wealth of experience in the field of sports performance and athlete reconditioning through his work with a plethora of different athletes and teams.  He has had the opportunity to work with athletes from a wide array of different sporting backgrounds, including athletes from various National teams and sports, NHL, KHL, CFL, ECHL, OHL NCAA and CIS.

Ed received his Masters degree in Exercise physiology from the University of Ottawa in 1994 and has been involved in the strength and conditioning industry for 30 years. Ed has been a consultant to 21 Canadian National and professional sports teams, including 39 Olympic and Paralympic medalists. He is currently the Strength & Conditioning Lead at the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario.  Ed is the author of five books, Power Plyometrics, The Resistance Band Workout Book, One Hundred Strength ExercisesTraining for Rowing, and Skillful Rowing and has contributed to several others. He has published over 100 articles on training and athlete conditioning covering topics such as strength training, plyometrics, making weight, assessing fitness, speed and power development, planning and periodization, and aerobic fitness. He is a frequent resource for other writers, acting as an expert for articles in Muscle & Fitness, Outside Magazine, the Georgia Tech Sports Medicine Newsletter, the Rowing News, the Globe and Mail, Ottawa Citizen and the Discovery Channel. Ed has an extensive background in performance and occupational research having been involved in studies that analyzed the physical demands of and developed fitness test protocols and standards for emergency medical technicians, prison guards, police officers, park wardens, firefighters, and military personnel, and has helped several high-profile companies develop fitness screening programs for their emergency response teams.

Ed is currently a faculty member at the United States Sports Academy and is a frequent speaker at National and international sport and fitness conferences, having done over 100 presentations in the past 15 years at conferences such as the NSCA National Convention, the AAHPERD National Convention, the Society of Weight Training Injury Specialists Conference, ECA Sport and Fitness Conference, Coaching Association of Canada Conferences, Rowing Canada Conferences, Ontario Minor Hockey Association Clinics, Joy of Sculling Conferences, and Olympic Solidarity Conferences.

Nutrition

Jackie McKenzie is a Registered Dietitian with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Western Ontario (1997) and a combined Dietetic Internship and Masters of Science degree in Applied Human Nutrition from the University of Guelph and Hamilton Health Sciences Centre (1999).  In 2013, she completed the Intensive Sports Nutrition Course with the Sports Dietitians of Australia and Dietitians of Canada.

Jackie has spent the last 18 years providing evidence based, practical solutions on general wellness, weight management, eating disorders, disease prevention and optimal performance.  She currently runs a successful private practice at Concussion North Sports Medicine Clinic in Barrie, working with recreation to national level athletes offering sport specific solutions to maximize athletic performance.  Individuals and teams benefit from her sound nutrition advice and innovative ideas to reach their health and performance goals.   Hockey, basketball, football, wakeboarding, swimming, running, taekwondo, track and field, cross-fit and skiing are some of the many athletes and teams that Jackie has been involved with.

With 3 children of her own Jackie is extremely passionate about adolescent and teen nutrition within her community, often presenting for sports teams and clubs.  Her hope is that these athletes will begin to understand the importance of establishing a healthy nutrition foundation for their sport alongside the power of food and activity for lifeline health.

Heidi is a bilingual Registered Dietitian and an accredited anthropometrist. Holding a Bachelor of Arts with Major in Psychology, an Honours Bachelor of Nutrition Sciences, and a Master of Science Human Kinetics from the University of Ottawa, her academic background in sports and nutrition has shaped her practice to be evidence-based. With her experience as a personal trainer and a provincial level figure skater, Heidi understands the importance of adopting a non-dieting, sustainable and food first approach when nourishing the body to achieve peak performance results.

In the past few years, Heidi has facilitated multiple sports nutrition workshops dedicated to a wide spectrum of sporting activities. Her practice focuses on sports nutrition as she provides nutrition counselling to competitive and recreational athletes. She also specializes in eating disorders and helps individuals improving their relationship with food at IMAVI, a Gatineau-based eating disorder clinic.

Heidi has been teaching at the college level for more than 5 years now. She started her journey as an educator at La Cité collégiale and is currently teaching 2 nutrition courses within the Fitness and Health Promotion Program at Algonquin College. In July 2017, Heidi joined the Bureau of Nutritional Sciences at Health Canada where she is involved with implementing the renewed Healthy Eating Strategy and with the planning of stakeholder engagement.

Leadership & Management

Brad is currently a teacher at Innisdale S S in Barrie and is the head coach of the Georgian College Women’s Volleyball team. He has coached several different sports throughout his career including volleyball, baseball, and tennis – all at various levels.

A recent graduate of the National Coaching Institute (2009), he still looks for ways to improve his coaching. Brad is currently a Learning Facilitator with the NCCP, conducting various courses throughout the year. As an active member in the Barrie community he acts as an executive member with Barrie Elites Volleyball Club assisting youth athletes in their development and preparing them to play at the next level. It is his belief that parents send us coaches the best they have, it is up to us to make them better.

Suzanne lives outside Ottawa with her husband and four hounds. She has been coaching women’s rugby for over 30 years and is a passionate advocate for coach education and long-term athlete development. Suzanne is a graduate of the National Coaching Institute – Victoria, where she received her Diploma in High Performance Coaching and obtained her NCCP Level 4 certification.

Suzanne’s achievements include 21 years at the helm of the uOttawa Gee Gees and leading the CIS National Women’s 7s team to two gold and one silver medal performance at consecutive FISU World University 7-a-side Rugby Championships. Suzanne recently stepped away from coaching at the university level but still coaches a local club, The Coven WRFC, as well as the Eastern Ontario component of Ontario Rugby’s Highway to High Performance 7s program and remains active as a coach educator.

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Timothy Suzuki is a Learning Facilitator for the Coaches Association of Ontario and a mentor coach for the National Coaching Institute of Ontario. Mr. Suzuki is a graduate of the NCCP High Performance Diploma Program, achieving Level 5 status — the first national karate coach to do so in Canada.

As a Learning Facilitator with Karate Ontario and Taekwondo Ontario, he continues to deliver NCCP workshops in both a sport-specific context and the multi-sport environment. His past contributions include six years as a national team member and nine years as head coach of the junior national karate team. Today, he continues to work with high-performance athletes, and also dedicates his time to educating and motivating community coaches. Mr. Suzuki also teaches traditional karate through the City of Toronto.

Athletes with a Disability

Coaching with Niagara Regional Athletics in Niagara Falls, Sue Bartol consults with both the able-bodies and athletes with a disability. Ms. Bartol recently participated in the USAT/IAAF Elite Sprints/Hurdles Academy in Chula Vista, California, and is continuing her education through the National Coaching Institute’s Advanced Coaching Diploma Program. She is a registered coach with Athletics Ontario, Athletics Canada, a member of the Ontario Cerebral Palsy Sports Association and a founding Board Member with the Niagara Accessible Sports Committee, promoting sport for athletes with a disability in the Niagara area.

Vicki Keith holds 16 world records as a marathon swimmer, and became the first person to swim across all five Great Lakes in 1988. She is also the only swimmer to successfully complete the 104km double crossing of Lake Ontario. Since retirement, Ms. Keith has been a competitive swim coach for athletes with physical disabilities, pushing boundaries to get her swimmers invited to able-bodied meets. In total, Ms. Keith has coaches more than 20 disabled athletes at the national level and three at the international level. Six of her pupils have set world records in marathon swimming.

She has coached three athletes to 4 Canadian records and a Pan-American record. Ms. Keith has been appointed as a member of the Order of Canada, recognizing her outstanding achievements. A three-time World Games coach and Pan-American Games coach, she received an Honourary Doctorate from Queen’s University and is recognized by Coaches of Canada as a Chartered Professional Coach. Ms. Keith is also a devoted philanthropist, raising funds to provide opportunities for young people with physical disabilities. In 2005, she completed an 80.2-km butterfly swim – setting two world records in the process – to raise $260,000 for the Kingston Family YMCA in support of children with disabilities in Kingston, Ont. Her lifetime fundraising total has surpassed $1-million.

Matt Greenwood has worked with the Ontario Soccer Association (OSA) since 2007. During that time he has worked deeply in the areas of Club Development, LTAD implementation and key projects addressing Concussion, FIFA11+, Grant Writing and the groundbreaking Club Excellence Award. Matt’s passion is in the area of inclusive soccer programs that ensure the whole community has a safe and positive place to play soccer.

This has included partnership work with Ontario Blind Sport and Special Olympics Ontario but his proudest career achievement to date has been as Co-Chair of the 2015 para pan Am Games 5’s and 7’s soccer competitions in Toronto. Matt is a National B Licensed Coach with supplementary qualifications coaching athletes with a disability.

Karen is a NCCP Level 3 Coach and in 2001, Karen became a member of Manitoba Cerebral Palsy Sports Association.  She is also a founding member of the Para Storm Swim Club where she is currently the head coach.  During this time she has developed a successful competitive swim program for athletes with a physical disability.

Ms. Williams passion is to ensure athletes have a place to explore and find their potential through sport. Working alongside community representatives to promote Para Sport and opportunity for athletes with disability, she is an advisor for Para Sport and a member of the Coaching Advisory Counsel.  Recently, she was the recipient of the YWCA Women of Distinction Award in Wellness, Healthy Living & Recreation category and awarded Coach of the Month as recognition of her continued work with engagement of community in expanding awareness for athletes with disability.

Ms. Williams has coached athletes to podium performances at Western Canada Summer Games, Canada Summer Games, Can Am International Para Championships, Para Pan Pacific International Championships, Olympic Paralympic Canadian Swimming Trails and two Canadian records. Karen works assiduously to promote Para Sport and the Athletes. She believes and imparts in her athletes “Your disability does not define who you are, it is only one part of the incredible person you are meant to become.”

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