Photo provided by Michelle Hart-Miller
Women to watch for March 19: Michelle Hart-Miller
The Lancer Spirit is celebrating the women of Londonderry during the month of March in honor of Women’s History Month. For each day of the month, LSO will be highlighting an inspiring woman within the Londonderry community who has demonstrated strong leadership and influential behavior.
Today’s “Woman to Watch” is Michelle Hart-Miller for helping Lancer athletes be the best they can be.
You see her on the sidelines, by the mats, driving in her cart, or in the gym. She is the queen of athletics in Londonderry. Michelle Hart-Miller, better known as just “Michelle,” is not a teacher at LHS, but you say her name, and most people know of her.
Michelle has been an athletic trainer at Londonderry High School for 26 years, and is also an LHS alum from the Class of ‘86.Her favorite part of the job? The kids.
“Best part for me is working with and establishing relationships with Lancer athletes,” Michelle said.
Michelle has received many awards over her 26 years as an athletic trainer career including receiving the Exceptional Potential in Athletic Training Award her senior year of college. Last year she was honored with the state’s first National High school Strength and Conditioning Association award as NH State Strength Coach of the Year. Michelle has also been inducted into the Lancer Nation’s Hall of Fame.
But to Michelle, these don’t amount to the real awards she receives every year.
“Most of my rewards have come from watching my athletes recover from injury or excel in their sport,” Michelle said.
She didn’t always want to be an athletic trainer, however. Michelle originally wanted to be a physical therapist, but felt that she wanted to work with athletes, so she decided to be an athletic trainer. Her inspiration to be an athletic trainer came from her athletic trainer in high school, Cliff Chulada, and mostly her own personal time spent with injuries in high school.
She knows firsthand how important it is for athletes to have a good athletic trainer throughout high school, so she strives to be that for her athletes. And she has succeeded in this. Michelle loves being a part of Lancer Nation. She said it makes her job feel much less about the “work” and more about the joy and accomplishments of inspiring whoever she can.
Athletes like freshman baseball player Nick Hamel believe she ignites a fire in them.
“Michelle is definitely one of the most inspirational people I’ve met in my time as a Lancer,” Hamel said. “She pushes me to never give up on what I want to accomplish.”
The workout that she lays out for her athletes doesn’t always just apply to her weight room though. They also apply to real life.
“I’ve learned many lessons from her that I use outside of the weight room,” senior varsity Football/Tennis player Jay Hayes said. “One lesson that sticks out is that consistency is the most important thing when trying to achieve any given goal.”
Like every good athletic trainer, Michelle cares for her athletes not only physically, but also emotionally.
“She makes sure her athletes are smiling every day when they step through the doors of her gym by making them stronger and faster,” junior Lacrosse player Isaac Mccune said.
Michelle is also always looking to improve her own skills such as her ability to balance athletic training and strength and conditioning. She has goals to get more athletes into the weight-room as well.
“My goal would be to get a middle school program started for strength and conditioning and to get more female athletes and teams participating,” Michelle said. “These programs are essential for female athletes to reduce the chance of injury.”
That isn’t the only thing she wants to do to make the athletes of LHS better.
“I would also like to improve participation in sports that traditionally avoid the weight-room like soccer and basketball,” Michelle said. “I also want to improve the ability for these athletes to understand the importance of developing strength applicable to their sport.”
It doesn’t matter who you are, Michelle cares about her athletes and is there to help them.
“Michelle is great because she can really work with everyone no matter their sport or level of strength,” sophomore baseball player Nate Seibert said. “Michelle pushes every athlete she works with, making them strive for greatness no matter what. [She is] a highly valued asset to LHS.”
Michelle is famous among her athletes For giving them the perfect quote for the right situation. She said she has two favorite ones: “The difference between excellence and mediocrity is commitment” and “Culture is the one thing that affects everything.”
While these quotes do inspire her athletes, it is who Michelle is as person and as a trainer that pushes them “to become the best versions of themselves,” according to freshman Nick Hamel.
“She is extremely committed and dedicated to bettering each and everyone of us,”Hamel said, “and her impact truly translates to the field.”
She loves all her athletes and she loves her community that has been her home for a long time.
“Be proud of who you are and what you do! Find something you’re passionate about and use that passion to inspire others,” Michelle said. “Whatever you do, always give consistent effort,”