By Mike Ullery
GOODYEAR, Ariz. — In the professional sports world, males have long dominated, not only on the field but also, behind the scenes.
Major League Baseball is one of the leaders in breaking down barriers, allowing women to join the ranks of sports professionals to bring the world America’s Game.
Among the pioneering women in Major League Baseball is Covington native Haley Ouelette.
Ouelette is no stranger to athletics. She was an athlete while attending Covington High School where she graduated in 2014. She then played softball at Ohio University.
Ouelette is entering her second season as strength and conditioning coach for the Cincinnati Reds. She works with players, both on and off the field, conducting warm-up drills and supervising players to ensure they are stretching properly. She also supervises weight-lifting and other aspects of getting, and keeping, players in top physical condition.
As a young high school athlete, Ouelette never thought that her career path would lead her to the major leagues.
“We would joke around about it,” said Ouelette, “but we never really thought it would actually happen. But sure enough, here we are.”
Ouelette founded No Name Athletics and was busy training a variety of local athletes to “up their game.”
She soon learned that being an owner of a business led to more time behind a desk and less actually doing what she loved, training athletes.
When an application to join the Reds was received, “At first, I wasn’t going to apply because I didn’t think that I was qualified,” said Ouelette, “but I filled it out anyway and a short time later, we were loading up the car and my husband an I were on our way to Arizona.”
Ouelette pointed out that the training she employs with Reds players is the same as local athletes receive at Piqua-based No Name Athletics.
“I teach them the same. I coach them the same. I interact with them the same.” said Ouelette.
Working with the Cincinnati Reds is a dream come true for Ouelette who grew up following the Reds. She encourages young girls to follow their dreams and not let perceived barriers get in the way of their career goals.
Ouelette is married to fellow Covington High School graduate A.J. Ouelette whose Toronto Argonauts football team recently won the Gray Cup, the Canadian Football League equivalent of the Super Bowl.
The couple spend as much time a possible at No Name Athletics during their respective off-seasons.