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Image Credit: Minor League Baseball

Rachel Balkovec understands far too well the constant ridicule an individual faces when they are chasing a dream doomed impossible. She was the first female strength and conditioning coach in Major League Baseball history, a guest speaker at the elitefts 2017 Stronger Business Fitness Professional Summit and remains a prominent voice of hope and inspiration for many women looking to break barriers within the male-dominated sports industry. Despite the incredible success Rachel has already experienced at such a young age, her mantra always remains the same: I’m Not Done Yet.

Rachel recently shared with us three projects she is currently working on and what her goals and aspirations are for each.


Image Credit: Rachel Balkovec Website

The Virtual Handshake Academy

The Virtual Handshake Academy is a program specifically designed to help young professionals bridge the gap between being qualified for and actually landing their dream job. When a student enrolls in the VHA, they will learn how to most effectively build a resume, create a cover letter, use social media to their advantage, write professional emails and ultimately gain confidence in their virtual professional presentation. The Academy was born as a result of the constant emails and social media messages Rachel received on a daily basis from individuals looking to enter the Strength and Conditioning industry. She was able to take the most commonly asked questions and create a resource designed specifically to guide these young professionals through the process in a simple and pain-free manner. Twenty-five percent of all revenue goes directly into a scholarship fund Rachel created for young professionals without the financial means to afford college on their own.


Image Credit: Facebook

Biomechanics Degree

Rachel, a self-described movement nerd, is in the process of applying to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in biomechanics:

A trend is beginning to form in strength and conditioning and I’m trying to get ahead of the curve. Teams are beginning to recruit “sport science” strength and conditioning professionals from Europe and Australia where data analysis is in full gear. I want to be ahead of the competition.

By enrolling in a biomechanics program, she will learn the skills and tools necessary to compete in an industry that is beginning to rely on data analysis for a majority of its decisions. Another motivation behind her academic re-enrollment remains her life-long goal of becoming a Major League Baseball general manager. Baseball has become such an analytical sport in recent years that a background in data analysis is nearly a requirement for potential general managers. A degree in biomechanics will not only give Rachel a better understanding of how to train the athletes she routinely works with, but it will lay a strong foundation for her down the road when she elects to move into a more administrative role and eventually the general manager’s chair.


Image Credit: Houston Chronicle

Double-A Corpus Christi 

For the past four years Rachel has been the strength and conditioning coordinator for the reigning World Champion Houston Astros overseeing multiple teams in the minor leagues. However, this year a new challenge awaits her. MLB organizations send their top prospects to Double-A because the player’s raw talent most resembles that of the major leagues. As a coach, being assigned to Double-A is an incredible honor as those spots are reserved solely for the most trusted members of the organization. With that being said, when the season opens in April, Rachel will be heading to Double-A Corpus Christi to work with the Astros top 25 prospects. By only being in charge of 25 players, it will allow her the opportunity to provide each player with an individualized program to best address his needs. Her goal for Corpus Christi is to instill a mindset in the players to keep learning, growing and progressing each and every day.

Here is how to keep up with Rachel and all her latest moves:


Virtual Handshake Academy



76f95e_5e83644b8f4f4a5f8e2c9407be0c89e2Image Credit: Rachel Balkovec Website

Header Image Credit: Facebook