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Kevin Woods II, UVU Athletics Mental Health Specialist, Wins 40 Under 40 Award

Photo Courtesy of Kevin Woods II & Utah Valley Business Quarterly

Utah Valley Business Quarterly recently announced the recipients of its “40 Under 40” awards. Among the winners was 33-year-old Kevin Woods II, the UVU Athletics Mental Health Specialist & owner of Holistic Training. After winning the award, Woods joined Valley Sports Talk with Brice Larson on ESPN 960 to talk about what the award meant for him.

“To be honest, it came out of nowhere. I wasn’t even expecting it,” Woods said. “I am excited to build from here. As counselors, therapists, and sports psychologists, people who are always in the background don’t usually get that type of recognition, so I have become accustomed to that. But to be recognized for something like this amongst other people who have million-dollar companies, it feels good to know that I am appreciated in the community and it gives me more energy to provide and give even more back to the community.”

Utah Valley BusinessQ Magazine highlights successful entrepreneurs, long-time businesses, and trends in Utah Valley. The 40 Under 40 Award recognizes entrepreneurs who are making waves in the area also known as the “movers and shakers” in the business world.

Woods first came to Utah Valley University as a young, wide-eyed, 17-year-old freshman. He had made the decision to play basketball for long-time Head Coach Dick Hunsaker. The former Top-40 recruit from the south side of Chicago had never been to Utah before but appreciated the straightforwardness of his future head coach.

In his time as a player, Woods battled countless injuries. Over his career, the former point guard underwent 7 different surgeries, when he later applied for a medical waiver to play his final season of basketball the NCAA told him he had to see a therapist before the waiver was to be approved. Woods was eventually given a referral to see a sports psychologist who opened his mind to his future career path.

“So I talked to that sports psychologist, and he went through my background and got to know about everything that was going on with my mental state,” Woods said. “He was like, I’m going to be honest. You might be chasing this basketball stuff, but if you can replicate your mentality, your mental skills, and all of those things into other people, you will have a longer career than I will. So that kind of sparked my interest, doing therapy with athletes sounded pretty cool.”

Photo Courtesy of Kevin Woods II and Utah Valley Business Quarterly

After receiving a bachelor’s degree from the UVU in 2012 in behavioral science, with an emphasis in psychology.  Woods returned to Illinois and later received a master’s degree in counseling, sport & health psychology near his hometown at Adler University in Chicago. After the completion of his master’s degree, Woods created a private practice, Holistic Training, specializing in counseling and cognitive performance working with all types of performers, ranging from young children to professional athletes.

That same year, Woods had a son, Kevin “Kalama” Woods III, who passed away at four months old due to Kawasaki Disease, a rare disorder that was undetected.

“I tell people all the time,  I wouldn’t be here today if certain things never happened to me. Losing my son was the worst thing that has ever happened to me in my life, but it also created ‘Dok’. ‘Dok’ came through all those traumatic experiences during grad school.” said Woods.

After his Ph.D. coursework, Kevin “Dok” Woods II returned to Utah Valley University as the Mental Health Specialist for UVU Athletics in 2018 where he continues to help student-athletes and coaches overcome the pressures and anxieties that come with college athletics.

Find the latest UVU news on ESPN 960.

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