Natalie Kollars is a performance specialist with Exos, a high-performance company that trains professional and amateur athletes, military personnel and the members of the corporate wellness community. Kollars has even trained such notable names as Diana Taurasi, Nick Jonas, Demi Lovato, Josh Allen and many others. Learn about Natalie Kollars…
Hometown: Toronto, Canada
First job: My first job was at a Tim Horton’s. “Timmies” is a popular coffee shop in Canada that is famous for its hot drinks, doughnuts and sandwiches. This job was the perfect opportunity to learn about customer service, communication and the value of a dollar.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in AZ: For someone who loves the heat, sunshine and outdoors, Arizona is the perfect place to live. In my free time, I enjoy being active. From strength training, to yoga and hiking, I do some form of exercise each day. I am also passionate about eating healthy and love to cook. I have a cooking blog (chefnatskitchen.com) where I share my favorite Chef Nat recipes that are easy to make, healthy and are all ready in 30 minutes or less. I also enjoy exploring new restaurants, reading fiction novels, relaxing by the pool, spending quality time with friends and watching sports.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: My biggest accomplishment is becoming the lead coach for the NFL Off-Season program at Exos in Phoenix. After being involved in the program for a number of years and learning from the many elite coaches at Exos, I now have ownership over the program at our facility. This involves designing the athlete assessment and monitoring, program design and implementation, and communication with coaches.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: Finding a way to live a life I would be proud of after my mom passed away.
Someone who inspires you and why: My mom. When I was in my second year of undergrad, my mom was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. Myeloma is an incurable cancer of the bone marrow and blood plasma. Following her diagnosis, my mom endured radiation, a stem cell transplant and several rounds of aggressive chemotherapy. Before passing away in my senior year, my mom fought an incredibly courageous battle. The physical and mental strength she showed during this time was extremely inspiring. Her passing gave me a whole new perspective on just how precious life really is. We truly don’t know how much time we have, and as cliché as it may sound, we need to live every day like it could be our last.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: My advice to someone pursuing a career in elite sports performance training would be to make sure that you are getting into the field for the right reasons. In my opinion, I am blessed with one of the best “jobs” in the world because it involves a number of my passions. These include my competitive side, my interest in the science behind human performance and my relationship building side. Ultimately, I care deeply about making meaningful connections and impacting the lives of others. Through my job, I am able to help people achieve things they otherwise didn’t see possible. Whether that is signing a second or third NFL contract to establish generational wealth for their family, or helping an athlete maintain a healthy lifestyle once they have retired. So, if you are passionate about helping people, pursuing a career in elite sports performance would be a great fit.
Favorite quote: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I am part of just the 16.5 percent of strength and conditioning coaches in the United States that are female.
What makes someone fabulous: Living with purpose and passion. Loving others. Showing empathy. Relentlessly pursuing your goals.