Dr. John Walker: Dentist By Day, Cheer Coach By Night

Dr. John Walker has been the owner of Dr. John Walker's Family Dental Practice since 1991 and has been coaching the Bishop McCort Catholic High School cheerleading team for 29 years. When he wasn't making his patients smile, sparkle and shine, Walker was coaching the Crushers to two UCA national titles, 11 top-10 national finishes, 15 UCA regional titles and two Pennsylvania state championships.

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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.

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DAY VS. NIGHT

What 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.

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