Soundboard: Country Artist Michael Ray

Country music singer-songwriter Michael Ray recently had his single “Whiskey And Rain” soar to the No. 1 spot on country radio. While his hard work and determination through the infamous covid quarantine gained him success, Ty Herndon sits down with him to get a look at the mental fitness practices that went on behind the scenes.

YouTube player


Get ready for an honest episode about breaking patterns, holding onto hope, and cold showers. Learn how Michael Ray strengthens his mental fitness and rides the wave of pivotal moments. 

Michael Ray’s Higher Education EP is available now to listen & download!


Show Notes

00:00 Intro 

1:11 Michael expresses how he practices mental fitness while having his song “Whiskey and Rain” reach #1 on the charts.

4:24 Ty asks Michael what he does to help promote positivity and gratitude to his team.

7:07 Michael details his experience making his album and music video during Covid 

10:45 Ty mentions how artists sometimes doubt themselves and asks Michael what the pivotal moment was that kept him moving forward. 

15:16 Michael explains lessons learned in his mental health journey 

18:02 The artists discuss breaking generational patterns about mental health education, how we’re raised by “broken people”, and that we’re all healing.

20:17 Ty asks Michael what he would tell his younger self, Michael reflects on growing up in a broken home.

22:18 Michael talks about what he does to stay positive and how a quote from Tyler Perry’s latest “Madea” movie keeps him going. 

24:30 Close

Championship Traits For Life - Dr. Cassidy Preston

What are your metrics for success? Dr. Cassidy Preston of Consistent Elite Performance joins WIN to talk about how overcoming adversities during his time in sports had led him to a profession centered around helping others do the same. Dr. Preston and his team have used their combined education, athletic careers, and coaching experiences to create a mental performance system to guide elite athletes to clearly understand what mental skills they need to work on and how to do it.

YouTube player

If you enjoyed this episode, please let us know by leaving a review on your favorite podcast platform and by sharing it with other athletes and coaches in your life who you think could benefit from WIN; Championship Traits For Life.

Soundboard: Grammy Award Winner LeAnn Rimes

Growing up in the music industry is sure to come with many twists and turns. And spoiler alert- there’s no guide on how to navigate your mental health that comes with the fame. So how do these stars do it and what do they wish they could tell their younger selves?

YouTube player


In the premiere of Soundboard, we’re getting to know international multi-platinum selling acclaimed singer and ASCAP award-winning songwriter  LeAnn Rimes like never before. She joins Soundboard host and fellow Grammy-nominated artist Ty Herndon for a conversation as these two longtime friends recall their first times performing together, complications in LeAnn’s career as a young star, details about their personal mental fitness journeys reflected in their new music, and more.



Show Notes

00:00 Intro

3:45 Ty asks “Who is LeAnn Rimes?”

6:00 Ty talks about when he first met LeAnn and the first times they performed together

10:00 LeAnn and Ty discuss what it means to be an artist 

12:20 Ty asks LeAnn what she would tell the younger version of herself

14:25 Ty asks LeAnn what the pivotal moments of her life were

14:55 LeAnn talks about the situation and challenges she experienced as a young artist

19:00 Ty talks about the opportunity of being able to help people

21:00 LeAnn discusses her perspective and how she takes care of herself

22:20 Ty asks LeAnn what brings her joy

24:30 LeAnn discusses her new album, God’s Work

27:00 Close

Championship Traits For Life - Tina Whitlock

Tina Whitlock is a tech fellow with the St. Louis Cardinals organization. A former all-American with the South Carolina Gamecocks –  a team she helped lead to the College World Series – Tina also played for the US National team in addition to making the professional softball ranks.

YouTube player


As playing turned to coaching, Tina interviewed with several MLB teams before she received a call back from the St. Louis Cardinals organization through a program that was specifically created to train prospective major league coaches and scouts. She became one of five women coaches in the minors with the role in addition to being the Cardinals’ second woman hire.

She is both a trailblazer and a leader in baseball and sports in general.

Championship Traits For Life - Lauren Ammon

Lauren Ammon, is a certified professional coach that has dedicated her personal life to helping student-athletes. After spending 17 years as a swimmer, Lauren entered into what would become a successful career in Human Resources for many years. What we find amazing about her, is in spite of her success in that industry, she decided to take the leap away from the safety net of a career she was accustomed to, and dive into coaching full-time. It’s a journey we set out to uncover during our time with her.

Lauren is the founder of Performance Reimagined, an organization focused on helping student-athletes reach their full potential.

Advocating for Mental Health in the Veterinary Industry with Dr. Katie Krothapalli

“As vet techs/veterinarians, we do have a personal responsibility for setting boundaries, finding resources, and doing what we need to take care of ourselves.” Jenn chats with a very special guest for this episode, Dr. Katie Krothapalli. A former veterinary practitioner and Veterinary Medical Officer for the U.S. Army, Dr. Krothapalli now serves as Director of Healthcare Education at Edcetera, a leading provider of professional development and continued education resources and parent company of Vetcetera.

YouTube player


She discusses how a critical turning point led her to this current role and how she is using her experience to help others in the veterinary field. She also touches on the challenges veterinary professionals face, particularly in the wake of the pandemic, how creating space for a mental health dialogue in veterinary medicine will help push the industry forward and so much more.  


Show Notes

00:00 Dr. Katie Krothrapalli introduces herself, detailing her trajectory to becoming a veterinarian and creating Vet Cetera, a community for veterinarian professionals – all while dealing with animal allergies 

5:02 Dr. Krothrapalli discusses some of the unexpected challenges she faced in the veterinarian profession regarding medical responsibility, financial struggles with patient families, etc.

10:45 Dr. Krothrapalli discusses how she applies the tools she learned in veterinarian training to her current role with EdCetera, noting how the company was built to assist the veterinarian community

16:40 Dr. Krothrapalli discusses the current sentiments on mental health in the veterinarian/vet tech community

19:43 The discussion shifts to boundaries; Jenn and Dr. Katie discuss some of the everyday dilemmas doctors have, and how America’s rush to adopt pets during the pandemic severely impacted veterinarian health providers

26:04 Dr. Krothrapalli leaves parting advice to those looking to join the veterinarian industry: expect things to not be easy, and be flexible

28:35 Dr. Krothrapalli defines mental fitness and explains how she flexes her mental fitness muscle – by setting time for things that matter and maintaining healthy boundaries

Life After The Military: Sergeant Major (Ret.) Matt Quick

How much debt are you bringing into your transition from the military?

How much financial stress are you already experiencing?

Want to learn from one of the best and most respected voices in the veteran transition workspace?

Tune into this new episode of Life After the Military with Sergeant Major (Retired) Matt Quick.

YouTube player


Matt shares his story about his transition from the Marine Corps and the Army. Listen as Matt describes the value of networking early and significantly lowering the financial stress of a transition by getting to a debt-free state before departing the military.

Matt gives invaluable insights into the offerings that the Project Management Institute, his current employer, provides for transitioning veterans, their spouses and family members.

Matt speaks passionately about his work with the Dylan Quick Foundation, in loving memory of his nephew lost too early to pediatric cancer.


Show Notes 

00:00 Lee introduces Matt Quick to the PMM audience, Matt Quick shares key facts about his transition from the military

8:01 Matt discusses his first job, overseeing the DoD skill bridge program 

10:14 Howie advises the audience to begin the transition process as early as possible, and to get educated

14:18 Matt describes his work at PMI – the Project Management Institute

17:26 Matt discusses what the PMI does for spouses and military families

21:13 Lee and Howie advise the audience – find your purpose

25:57 Mike explains his reenlistment into the Army and how he built a controversial website while training to become a career counselor

32:00 An important discussion on how identity shifts for everyone involved in a service member’s transition

41:09 The group discusses the incredible importance of spouses in military transitions

45:47 Matt discusses another passion project, the Dylan Quick Foundation

52:32 Lee gives Matt the title for his life’s book; Matt shares how he practices mental fitness daily

57:21 Howie and Lee end the show

WIN: Championship Traits For Life - The Journey From Hockey To Hell And Back with Brady Leavold

Traveling to Hell and Back can hurt just as bad (if not worse) than a check to the head. Just as Brady Leavold was skating his way to a bright future of playing professional hockey, he hit rock bottom. And we’re grateful he found his way back to solid ground (well… ice, but you get the point).

YouTube player


After his life took a dramatic turn towards addiction, crime, homelessness, and jail, he began sharing his story of pivotal moments that changed his life.  He now spends his time educating others, and guiding those who are struggling out of the darkness.

Brady created and hosts “Hockey 2 Hell and Back” – a podcast that dives into mental health for hockey players, and is the founder of Puck Support, which has the mission of “Igniting Change In Mental Health & Substance Misuse By Setting The Hockey World In Motion while also Honoring Those Lost to addiction and suicide.”

Researching the Impact of Communication and Media with Sydney Brammer

“You can be impacted, really either way, by your media use.” In this episode, we continue our exploration of the relationship between media and mental fitness and the ways in which younger generations handle it. Jenn is joined by Sydney Brammer, a doctoral student and graduate part time instructor in the College of Media & Communication at Texas Tech University. Sydney dives into her current research on the connections between body image, interpersonal communication and social media and how ’Z-llennials’ (part Gen-Z and part Millennial) are normalizing content that discusses topics such as mental health. 

YouTube player

Plus, Sydney shares a personal tidbit on how she creates mental fitness balance in her busy schedule of studying, producing academic papers and teaching.


Show Notes

00:00 Sydney Brammer, Doctoral student at Texas Tech University, introduces herself to the PMM audience, detailing what encouraged her to pursue a PHD in Communications

04:56 Sydney describes her current research – the connections between body image, interpersonal communication and social media; how she views the media as a professional and her findings

12:22 Jenn and Sydney offer commentary on objectivity and subjectivity in media consumption

14:58 Sydney and Jenn discuss how media movements have both positive and negative consequences, namely the body neutrality movement

21:10 Sydney defines mental fitness in her own life

23:49 Being a’ Z-llennial’ (part Gen-Z and part Millennial), Sydney expresses why her generation produces media that normalizes the mental health discussion, in sharp contrast to prior generations 

28:20 Sydney flexes her mental fitness muscles through scheduling time carefully, spending time with friends and focusing on creating balance between work and leisure

32:30 Sydney leaves parting words for the PMM audience

Life After The Military: General (Ret.) Mike Eastman

Do you know that over 200,00 men and women exit the military every year? Do you know that problematic transitions are the #1 cause of veteran suicide? 

Do you know that the likelihood of a veteran committing suicide increases 2-3 Xs in the first 12 months of exiting the military? The Department of Veterans aAfairs has labeled this 12-month period the “deadly gap!”

YouTube player


In this week’s episode of Life After the Military, Lee and Howie interview BG (Ret) Mike Eastman, the Executive Director of the Army ETS Sponsorship Program.

Mike talks candidly about the harsh realities and challenges of navigating the rough waters of the transition process if a transitioning service member waits too long to plan, prepare and execute like he did.

Mike provides valuable context about the vision and mission of the Army’s ETS Sponsorship Program. He describes how this program helps transitioning service members, their spouses and family members land more softly, successfully and with less stress as they start their post-military careers.


Show Notes

00:00 Lee opens the show, introducing General (Ret.) Mike Eastman to the PMM audience

1:44 General (Ret.) Mike Eastman tells us his transition story and discusses his role as the Executive Director of the Army ETS Sponsorship Program

3:24 Mike discusses the harsh realities of transitioning, and how the Army ETS Sponsorship program connects local, community-based sponsors to transitioning service members through its various unit-based offerings across the country

13:58 Lee points out how major or even seasonal transitions can affect the human psyche

16:44 Lee asks the question, would service members be negatively impacted if they began the transition process on the first day of service?

21:39 Howie reflects on Mike’s story, outlining some important additions to the Soldier for Life program

26:29 Mike Eastman explains the ingenious and complex way that the ETS Sponsorship program connects veterans to Veteran Service Orgs (VSO’s)

32:31 Lee and Mike discuss the “silent partner” in the military transition – veteran families

43:26 The group has a serious discussion about military transitions and military deaths

​​46:15 Howie describes his experience training to become an ETS sponsor

48:49 Lee presents Mike’s book title

50:37 Using the movie “300” as a reference, Mike encourages a healthier perception of service members

52:12 Mike tells the audience how he practices mental fitness on a daily basis

55:13 Lee, Howie and Mike close the show