Building Through Collaboration

IMG_0297Sitting on the train to Glasgow (these tickets are from the previous day’s journey to Pitlochry) on my way to meet back up with parents gives me time to reflect on the past few days here in Edinburgh. Capitalizing on every opportunity to work with those I highly respect is a blessing. Finding flow in the work. Each collaboration feeds a different area of passionate interest – movement, coaching, mindfulness, community, feelings. The mutual desire to produce something that will benefit others is mindblowing.

This is what it’s all about!! Building something together for the betterment of our community. My work is my obsession, my hobby, the driving force behind my boundless energy for life. Doing all these things alone would be fun, but what makes them special is that there are people that want to go on this ride with me. We want to do these things together.

At times being self employed can have moments of loneliness and questionning why I’ve made this choice, but that sacrifice leads to the most amazing opportunities that I have refused to let slip by the wayside. I’m always tempted to say that I attack everyday to accomplish what I need to accomplish, but that phrase feels negative. I realize that’s not what I do. In reality what I do is open myself up everyday to the possiblities that it holds. My goals and intentions are clear, but I’m also acutely aware that unexpected events will occur forcing me to make decisions on a moments notice, learning lessons, accepting and acknowledging that I don’t know what I don’t know. That thought makes me smile because it’s what I love and miss about playing ice



As a defenseman, nothing gave me more pleasure than stopping a 3-on-1 by allowing the three offensive players to make their choices limited by my ability to restrict passing lanes, collecting the puck, circling behind my goalie’s net. Proud that we did this together. Looking up ice to see my team ready for me. Exploding out from behind my net with the puck. Decisions… Decisions… Sitting on this train, my legs start tingle with the memory of every stride up the ice, looking for the perfect passing lane, acknowledging my opponents bearing down on me, wanting nothing more than to knock me off the puck. Making the best decision possible to prevent this from happening and continuing to have my team move the puck up the ice into the offensive zone.

short program jump

Inspiring young athletes to feel this same passion and then watching them execute it in their respective sports is one of the most gratifying experiences I’ve ever had. Every event providees  something to celebrate and/or learn from. I am doing my very best to inspire them to be inquisitive, decisive, and exciting about growing (physically and mentally) keeps me positively optimistic about the future of youth sports.


If there is something you’d possibly like to collaborate on or need collaboration ideas, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I strongly encourage you to share this with your social networks because you might never know who it might touch. This community can’t grow without your participation. Help me give others the opportunity to experience this as well.

Thank you for going on this ride with me and being a part of my growing community of the Primitively Optimistic Mindset.

Published by: Coach DanielH

Daniel Heller is a strength and conditioning coach, working in the field since 2007 where he began as an intern at Hope’s Gym in Monroe, Washington. In 2009, a month after graduating from Bastyr University, Daniel became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA). Since then, he has served as a strength and conditioning coach in the private sector, helping athletes from youth through college level in ice hockey, figure skating, mountain biking, football, and motocross. He works closely with each athlete’s physical therapists and doctors to ensure safety and performance improvement. In 2013, Daniel received the designation of Registered Strength & Conditioning Coach (RSCC) through the NSCA. On the side Daniel was the exercise physiology, biomechanics, and kinesiology consultant for the Advanced Products Development Team at Oakley Inc. He is the Cofounder and Head Strength & Conditioning Coach at Seattle Institute of Athletic Performance providing Functional Movement Screens, corrective exercises, athletic performance programs, as well as educating athletes and parents on the importance of Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD) and practice of heads up sports. Daniel’s passion for strength and conditioning stems from his days as a competitive ice hockey player and mountain biker, aside from the many recreational sports he participates in. He is the true strength & conditioning coach for competitive youths aiming for long careers as athletes but also the weekend warriors that train during the week to stay safe on the weekends. In 2015, Daniel took a year break from coaching in Seattle, Washington to pursue his dream of acquiring a masters degree. He returned to Seattle in September 2016 with a Masters of Science in Strength & Conditioning from the University of Edinburgh after living in Edinburgh, Scotland for a year. By immersing himself in the cycling community of Scotland, he was inspired to focus his dissertation on competitive cyclists from varying disciplines where he researched a potential method of improving stationary sprint start performance. He is excited to return to coaching mountain biking combining his childhood passion with his academic and applied expertise.

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