Kinesiology graduate earns position with Houston Astros
Colombian native and College of Education and Human Sciences (CEHS) graduate Alexa Garcia always knew that working in professional baseball was her end goal.
Garcia graduated from Florida Atlantic University with her bachelor’s degree where she studied exercise science and health promotion. To further her career, she knew she needed to continue her education in a program that was tailored to help her succeed in higher levels of education and professionalism.
“My teacher at the time, who is still a dear mentor and friend, Dr. B. Sue Graves, took me under her wing and told me if I really wanted to make that dream a reality, I needed to pursue a master’s degree by studying under Dr. David Szymanski at Louisiana Tech University,” Garcia said.
After contacting Dr. Szymanski and visiting the University, she knew Tech was the place and program she wanted to be a part of.
“Alexa was instrumental in re-introducing the Department of Kinesiology with our baseball team,” said Dr. David Szymanski, director of baseball performance. “I am very grateful for her efforts because it opened the doors for me to develop relationships with the coaches and players, which ultimately led to us not only conducting research with them but doing weight training with the baseball team.”
“I learned so much from Dr. Szymanski and the rest of the professors at Tech. They truly have built the optimal program for human performance,” Garcia said.
During her time at Tech, Garcia worked on the baseball staff as director of player development and a performance coach. Working closely with the baseball staff and having support from her professors gave her the confidence to excel where she is today.
“Coach Burroughs, Coach Gaspar, Coach Miller, and the previous pitching coach Mike Silva were truly my family and my whole support system at Tech,” Garcia said. “Long road trips with the Bulldogs and holidays spent at the Szymanski home will forever live in my heart. Those few years at Tech really were transformative years for me, and I’m so grateful I took the leap to leave my busy city life in South Florida to taste a slower pace of life in Ruston.”
After graduating, Garcia used her skills as a strength and conditioning coach for the Baltimore Orioles and as director of strength and conditioning for Barry University. She continues to fulfill her dreams and secured a role with the Houston Astros as the rehab strength and conditioning coordinator.
“This position will play a key role in streamlining rehabilitation and performance for players returning to play from injury,” Garcia said. “I work hands-on with athletes in the weight room and outside during on-field activities. Holding this position means I must demonstrate strong physical preparation and rehabilitation acumen as well as the ability to utilize technology and objectivity to drive programming decisions.”
Throughout her career in professional baseball, Garcia continues to think fondly about her time at Tech and the impact it had on her life.
“The coaches, players, and professors at Tech were my entire life during that time, and I wouldn’t change it for a second,” Garcia said. “Not a day goes by that I don’t think about those individuals and my time at Tech. It was an experience of a lifetime.”
“We are very proud of Alexa,” Szymanski said. “Her professional future is bright, and we are glad that we were a part of her education, research experience, and professional development. I look forward to hearing more about her future.”