"Coach Sho had a huge part to play in my getting to medical school. He served as a role model to me starting in high school. As I continued to grow I used his discipline, lessons and guidance to overcome many obstacles. Now, as a first year medical student, this strategy still proves useful and I know I can always use the character instilled in me as I strive to be the best physician I can be."
“Even though I started track in 7th grade, it wasn’t until Shioma became my coach during my junior year that I really developed a love for high jump. He always took the time to explain everything that we were doing at practice in depth and in a way that each athlete fully understood - even if he had to get creative. We didn’t always have the best resources, sometimes using ancient high jump mats or practicing without spikes on a gym floor, but we still could count on Sho to deliver a productive practice. He also fostered a sense of community within the jumps/hurdle team that none of our other coaches were able to achieve, which made us stronger as a whole. My experience as one of Shioma’s athletes instilled in me such a deep appreciation for track that I went on to pursue high jump for a Division I program in college.”
Coach Sho taught me what it means to be more than an athlete. He exemplified what it means to know your worth. This was done through his commitment to service before athletics. To date, Sho has left his legacy by establishing a community service initiative with the Springfield College Track & Field Team and sharing those values with each and every athlete. When I joined the jump squad, I joined as an athlete and left as a better human being. If I got to choose anyone as a mentor or older brother, it would be Sho. He cares for you more than the athlete you see yourself as and expects the utmost from you on and off the track. With Sho's guidance, I grew to be a better athlete and a more complete person. I now carry these values with me as a future military officer.
"Shioma was the first person in my life who I considered a mentor. With him as my coach, I made more progress as an athlete than I had under any other coach. He not only pushed me to improve as an athlete, but he also pushed me to be the best person and student I could amount to. I took everything he said to heart and his words continue to inspire me to be the greatest person I can become. Having a big sale, on-site celebrity, or other event? Be sure to announce it so everybody knows and gets excited about it."
Our jumps team came from different backgrounds, perspectives, levels of privilege, and experience. At practice we all found comfort in the few hours where the only thing that defined us was how hard we worked. We earned each other’s respect through the commitment and effort put into each practice, and the support we gave each other on and off the track. We welcomed discussions of controversy, emotion, and vulnerability in a space of safety and growth. As time passed, we became unafraid to bring these discussions off the track and apply them to our worlds. With this confidence and perspective, we encouraged each other to make an impact with each interaction. Under Coach Sho, we met the bounds of athleticism; and then encouraged to challenge the bounds of society.
Coach Sho’s impact on my life allowed me to enter the medical field as a new graduate, in the midst of a pandemic, without skipping a beat. Where many would begin to weigh their risk; I knew my purpose was to advocate and support patients in time they needed it most. I began working at a nursing home, having had no clinical experience in the setting, with swift adaptation, empathy, and humility. I’ve been blessed to learn from every experience and person around me, to accept every criticism as a gift to grow, and to seize every opportunity as a step to creating the change the medical field so desperately needs. Despite my lack of experience, I was trusted with responsibility of managing the care of over thirty patients, and the supervision of three assistants. Without the leadership developed on Coach Sho’s team- I would have been lost. Instead, I was able to provide exceptional care, advocate for my patients, and challenge the bounds of healthcare disparity.
I will forever be grateful to be a part of the family Coach Sho created on our team. As a unit we fiercely supported each other, challenged ideals, and created change. As individuals, we discovered our purpose, passions, and experienced growth far beyond expectation. Always we held the following ideal: scoring points is nice, but being unafraid to make an impact will always be the greatest victory.
Coach Sho had confidence in me that I didn’t have as a new member of the team. His
consistent belief in me pushed me to grow that confidence in myself. He was the ultimate role
model teaching me the importance of being a whole person and improving in all aspects of my
life and character. I am so thankful I had the opportunity of having Coach Sho in my life during
my college years. He helped me grow as an athlete and a person. The lessons I learned from
Sho continue to guide me in my personal and professional life. I could not have asked for a
better coach and mentor.
Sho was a graduate assistant for the track and field team during my Sophomore and Junior year of undergrad. During that time Sho quickly and effectively developed a coaching strategy that brought out our potential as athletes. His positive attitude and constant support helped more than I could have imagined. To me he was more than just a track coach, he was also a mentor. He taught me to value my worth as an individual, and to how have fun while still taking things seriously. Now that I am a graduate student myself, I understand how busy he truly was between coaching, classes, and his master’s thesis he was working on. I am thoroughly impressed with his ability to manage many large projects/tasks in unison. I am lucky to know Sho, and I have become a better person because of him.
"As a freshman in college going through a period of great change, I was lucky enough to have a coach who saw me and supported me. Sho kept the energy high, and knew how to pull the best work out of his athletes. Not only did I get a PR while under his wing, I had someone to look up to who cared about social change through sport. I continue to look up to Sho to this day. "