Erick Mojica has a tremendous passion for working with young athletes and teaching clients how to exercise and explore the mind-body connection. He wanted to have a deeper understanding of his field and found Avila’s Master of Science in Kinesiology. “Choosing a small school master’s program was ‘huge’ for me because I could interact with my professors and keep exploring new things, never staying stagnant,” said Mojica.
Mojica is a personal trainer and baseball coach. He earned his MSK from Avila University in 2019 and is certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) as a Corrective Exercise Specialist.
His number one focus is teaching his clients how to listen to their bodies and create a positive relationship with exercise using a holistic approach of strength training, recovery modalities, and daily goals to help them move better and perform better.
Why was Avila and the Master’s of Science in Kinesiology program the right fit for you?
I graduated with my undergraduate degree in Kinesiology from Avila. I love diving deeper into different concepts. I already had a good relationship with Dr. Larson, Dr. Norwood, and Coach “C” (Brian Ciolek), so transitioning from the undergraduate program into the master’s program was seamless. I was able to take the advanced concepts learned from the dual-credit classes taken as an undergraduate student and immediately begin applying them in ways that were specific to my interests during the master’s program.
How did Avila prepare you for your career?
I had such a good foundation from my undergraduate program at Avila and a smooth transition to the master’s program that I think about them as one experience. The master’s program helped by exploring the complexity of working with people. It wasn’t just about the exercise programming but also emphasized the behavior component. We talked about motor behavior, eating behaviors, the relationships people have with food, and facilitating behavior change with clients. This has helped me as I’m working with clients to adopt healthier lifestyles behaviors. I also work with clients with pain. Learning that exercise programming is not a one-size-fits-all and how to personalize assessments to best meet the individual client’s needs has been beneficial. This helps me be flexible in my approach to help clients move and recover quicker.
There is so much to learn in the field, and I see others with graduate degrees who know the information but haven’t learned to apply it. Avila’s kinesiology program helped me feel more confident to apply the things I learned.
What professional goals do you have for the future, and how is your Avila education preparing you to pursue these goals?
I want to become a really good generalist practitioner before becoming a specialist. I want to be a baseball coach that knows neurology, strength and conditioning, and assessments. I’d love to have a baseball facility with physical therapy, exercise and fitness, sports performance, and skill development. My education at Avila has established the foundation for my current work.
Who at Avila did you form an inspired relationship with, and how did they assist you?
Dr. Larson always had his door open for students to come in and talk. It didn’t matter if it was about something related to a class or a research article I wanted to discuss. He would pull out a book or something else related to the topic, and we might talk for a few minutes or an hour if the time was available. As a personal trainer, there are times when conversations we had will come back to me, and I remember how to help someone with hip mobility, coach pitching mechanics, or apply certain concepts. Avila being a small school made it a lot easier to access professors, including Dr. Norwood and Coach “C” (Brian Ciolek), and to form relationships.