Eric Kapitulik and Dr. Kelsie Foster to headline 2020 NFHCA Annual Convention

GILBERT, Ariz. — This year, the NFHCA Annual Convention will welcome four featured speakers who will present on a range of topics. The first two featured speakers are Eric Kapitulik, founder and CEO of The Program, LLC, a leadership development company, and Dr. Kelsie Foster, a mental-health clinician whose work focuses on sports.

Headshot of Eric Kapitulik.

Eric Kapitulik, Founder and CEO, The Program LLC

Eric Kapitulik was born and raised in Thompson, Connecticut and attended the United States Naval Academy. While there, he was a four-year varsity letter winner in lacrosse and played on three NCAA tournament teams. He graduated in 1995 and went on to serve as both a Marine Infantry Officer and a Special Operations Officer with the 1st Force Reconnaissance Company, 1st Marine Division. Kapitulik left active duty after eight years of service and graduated from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business in 2005. He is also an ultra-endurance athlete and an avid high-altitude mountaineer.

Kapitulik is now the founder and CEO of The Program, a leadership development and team-building company that works with corporate teams and leading collegiate and professional athletic organizations around the United States.

At the NFHCA Annual Convention

Kapitulik will be presenting "Creating and Sustaining a Championship Culture" to NFHCA Annual Convention attendees. He will discuss his experiences at the United States Naval Academy and as a United States Marine Infantry Officer and a Special Operations Officer. Kapitulik will share his survival of a tragic helicopter crash that killed six of his fellow Marines, the integration of new teammates into his special operations team, and his subsequent efforts to raise money for a scholarship fund for the children and widows of his deceased teammates by competing in the world's toughest endurance races and climbing the world's tallest summits, including Mt. Everest.

Headshot of Dr. Kelcie Foster.

Dr. Kelsie Foster, Head Consultant, The Sport Coach

Kelsie N. Foster Ph.D. CRC, the Sport Coach Head Consultant, has worked as a mental health clinician for over 20 years. She obtained her bachelor's degree in music-voice performance from Hampton University, her master's degree in rehabilitation counseling from New York University, and her doctoral degree in counseling psychology from New Mexico State University. Prior to obtaining her Ph.D., she worked within residential and outpatient treatment programs in New York City as a coordinator of vocational rehabilitation services. Dr. Foster is a nationally certified rehabilitation counselor.

While working in university and college counseling centers across the country, Dr. Foster worked with student-athletes and provided consultation to coaches. Dr. Foster has presented at colleges and conferences on the topics of mental health, culture, diversity, and multiculturalism. She is passionate about removing the stigma of mental illness — she feels that the more educated we are, the healthier we will become, and that this combination will help remove the stigma surrounding mental health.

At the NFHCA Annual Convention

Dr. Foster will be presenting "How to Create a Culture that Promotes Mental Health and Removes the Stigma" to attendees. The presentation will assist coaches in developing and supporting a culture that promotes positive approaches to mental health. Dr. Foster will provide suggestions for empowering team members regarding mental health and strategies for coaches and their staffs in sustaining a positive mental-health culture. Participants will leave the presentation with approaches they can readily apply to their respective programs.

Dr. Foster will also present "Establishing a Foundation for Positive Mental Health" to high school and club coach attendees. The presentation will assist coaches in helping athletes establish healthy approaches toward mental health and provide suggestions for incorporating open communication, individual responsibility, and empowering team members.

The 2020 NFHCA Annual Convention will take place on January 14—16, 2020 at the Orlando Marriott Lake Mary in Lake Mary, Florida. The NFHCA Annual Convention is where field hockey coaches gather yearly to discuss, connect, and learn. Registration for the 2020 NFHCA Annual Convention will be available soon.