Athlete Career and Education

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ACE Wellness Conversations

Our goal with these conversations is to assist Team USA athletes in developing something with a stronger sense of self by providing tools and guidance for personal growth. We want to help create a community of support during this time of fluidity, change and uncertainty.

Watch the Latest Episode: Prioritizing What's Important

ACE Conversation: Prioritizing What’s Important
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Presented by ACE and Sixth Wing's Bridget Ruiz, Executive Coach and Facilitator

Pull out a pen and paper, or put on your headphones for a walk, while you join the conversation on identifying what’s most important to you in life. Using a tool called The Wellness Wheel, we discuss taking a systematic approach to prioritizing and monitoring the things that matter most.

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ACE Conversations: The Importance of Values
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The Importance of Values

Presented by ACE and Sixth Wing's Laura Maasdam, Executive Career Coach and Facilitator

Join ACE and Laura Maasdam for a conversation around why defining your values is so important during these unprecedented times. We discuss how values can help shape your daily life and the decisions you chose to make. Pull out a paper and pen or throw this on during a walk!

ACE Conversation: Embracing The Present with Dr. Roberta Kraus

Embracing the Present

Presented by ACE and Dr. Roberta Kraus of the Center for Sports Psychology

Join ACE and Dr. Roberta Kraus of the Center for Sports Psychology for a conversation discussing how your emotions are affecting your behavior in the present. Dr. Roberta discusses a framework enabling you to take stock of your feelings with easy-to-enact tips to positively impact your behavior in times of stress.

ACE Conversation: Reframe Your Mindset

Reframe Your Mindset

Presented by ACE and Sixth Wing's Dr. Katy Stanfill

ACE and Dr. Katy Stanfill discuss what mindset is, why it’s important and how you can reframe your thinking to adjust your mindset to be more effective, positive and mentally healthy.

ACE Conversation: Navigating and Managing Change
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Navigating and Managing Change

Presented by ACE and Sixth Wing

ACE and Sixth Wing's Bridget Ruiz discuss accepting change, acknowledging feelings of discomfort, and identifying personal steps to help gain control of your daily living.


Roberta Kraus, Ph.D. is President of the Center for Sports Psychology in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Her work focuses on designing and implementing mental training programs regarding peak performance, team leadership, group dynamics, communications, neuroscience as it relates to motivation, transition, and burnout.

She serves as the sports psychologist for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games gold medal winning USA Men’s and Women’s National Wheelchair Basketball teams. Roberta facilitates the ACE Pivot Program, guiding upcoming and currently retired Team USA athletes towards consistent top performance in life after competition.

Roberta is graduate of Montclair State University, where she played basketball and tennis, and maintains an undefeated collegiate tennis record. An alternate for the 1984 Women’s Olympic Basketball team, she earned an M.A. degree in Education from the University of Northern Colorado, a M.S. degree in Sports Psychology from the University of Arizona and a Doctorate degree in Communications from the University of Denver. 

Laura is an executive coach and a leadership and negotiation expert. Laura draws on her business experience and unique leadership experience in the military as the basis for Sixth Wing’s strengths based coaching model. She is an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) through the International Coaching Federation.

As a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, she is a founding partner of Sixth Wing, LLC.

After graduating from the Naval Academy, Laura served for 12 years as a Navy helicopter pilot and instructor pilot. Laura and Sixth Wing support military veterans and Team USA athletes with normalizing their transition from the military or sport into their next endeavors. Her focus and expertise are centered around negotiation, conflict resolution and performance leadership.
Bridget is an executive coach specializing in the power of positive psychology and appreciative inquiry. Bridget is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, and a founding partner of Sixth Wing, LLC. She specializes in managing performance in high stress environments, the application of values and strengths in the workplace, authentic leadership, and effective communication.

After graduating with distinction from the US Naval Academy, Bridget was selected for Basic Diving and Salvage Officer training, leading to service aboard the USS DULUTH, along with Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Training and Evaluation Unit ONE.

Alongside her operational Navy roles, Bridget represented the U.S. for the sport of Naval Pentathlon, winning two individual world titles, and leading the US women’s team to three team championships. In recognition of these achievements, Bridget was named the Navy Female Athlete of the Year in 2000.
Katy is an executive coach, facilitator, performance psychologist and licensed clinical psychologist. A graduate of the US Naval Academy, with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, Katy employs evidence-based principles related to mental toughness, grit, mindfulness, authenticity, and positive psychology to elicit performance enhancement. Her research expertise is primarily in the prediction and application of psychological and physiological components of high-performance under stress.

While at the USNA, Katy played collegiate soccer for 4 years and one year on the women’s rugby team. After graduating, Katy flew CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters for the U.S. Navy, and worked as a safety supervisor, curriculum developer, and personnel manager at the U.S. Navy Survival training school for high-risk-of-capture service members.

Katy finds purpose in working with both sides of the stress continuum: helping people perform to their utmost and, also, reducing suffering and facilitating the healing process after a traumatic or high-stress incident.