The Newcomerstown Schools' Athletic Department has been busy over the last two months putting together a program called, Pursuit of Excellence.

Committees were formed to work on goals in three main areas of interest: Recruit, retain and training coaches -- building from the bottom up and character performance. After several meetings, some goals were pounded out by the committees and presented to the school board. The project is intended to bring positive ideas and activities to enhance the sports programs. Many of the ideas are due to be implemented with the start of summer training programs.

As a kick-off to the Pursuit of Excellence, a speaker has been scheduled to give a presentation to the school.

Nicole Detling Miller, a native of Barnesville and current resident of Salt Lake City, Utah, will be addressing the students on April 30 at 9 a.m. in the high school gymnasium.

Miller studied sports psychology and sports medicine at Ohio Wesleyan University. She continued her education at Ithica College where she earned her masters. Her doctorate in sports psychology was completed at the University of Utah. A wife and mother of two boys, Miller maintains an active lifestyle playing soccer, rock climbing, skiing and mountain biking.

Miller served as the sports psychologist for the U.S. speed staking team at the 2010 Olympics. During her Olympic experience, she was able to go on stage with the USA athletes for the closing ceremonies. She is indeed living a life that many would only dream of. She truly loves what she does and feels blessed to have been on hand for the most successful Winter Olympics for the United States. The United States set a record for the most medals won by a single country. Prior to working with the speed skating team, Miller worked with the U.S. ski team of the 2006 Olympics.

In addition to her work with Olympic athletes, she has a private practice called Headstrong Consulting, where her services are offered to many athletes of all ages, including professional baseball players and even dancers.

Miller's program will include some of her Olympic experiences and she will be talking on the subject of "Training your mind for enhanced performance in the classroom and the athletic field."

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