Dr. John Walker: Dentist By Day, Cheer Coach By Night
Walker shared what it is like to be a dentist by day and a high school cheerleading coach by night.
FloCheer: How did you get into coaching?
Walker: I started at the University of Pittsburgh as the Pitt Panther mascot and then joined the cheer team. I started coaching with my mother, who was the head coach at Bishop McCort. When she retired, I took over the program and I'm currently in my 29th year of coaching.
What is it like transitioning from your office to cheerleading practice?
Since my schedule is so busy, I run from my office to the gym and then to cheer practice almost every day so that I can get a workout in. It takes time to plan out my meals and daily schedule, but it's worth it because cheerleading is my comfort zone. I feel very lucky to have an outlet that comes natural to me.
What do your dentistry co-workers think about your cheerleading job?
My co-workers think I am CRAZY. They respect cheerleading very much. especially because most of them are former cheerleaders.
How can you apply what you do in your day job to your coaching job and vice-versa?
Dentistry is very detail-oriented. I have to be on my A-game at all times. Since competitive cheerleading is the same way, I feel very confident in training these young ladies to pay attention at all times and to refine the details.
DAY VS. NIGHTWhat do you wear to work?
DAY: Khaki pants and polo shirt.
NIGHT: Gym clothes.
What kind of people do you work with at each job?
DAY: Patients ranging from ages 2-80.
NIGHT: Young ladies who are in 9th-12th grade.
What your goals are at each job?
DAY: To provide the best dental care and comfort to my patients.
NIGHT: Teach top-notch game day and competition cheerleading skills while providing life skills for a solid moral compass.
What do you primarily do at each job?
DAY: Routine dental care and practice management.
NIGHT: Instruct, demonstrate, spot, and organize.
What is the most rewarding part of each job?
DAY: Having a top-rated dental practice that people feel comfortable and look forward to returning.
NIGHT: Teaching athletes the importance of hard work, dedication, team work, and morality.