If a tennis coach can help with your serve and a baseball coach with your curve ball, it stands to reason a life coach can get you to a better overall place in the game of life.

That’s Sweetwater native Kendrick Shope’s plan. This 35-year-old mother of a 4-year-old daughter and graduate of the University of Tennessee, has started her own business as a life coach and motivational speaker. She graduated from Sweetwater High School in 1995, UT in 2000 and spent a year working at a bank and 10 years in pharmaceutical sales before casting it all aside. The walking away was part of Shope’s dream to not coast to the end and regret it all.

Keeping the dream alive

“I can remember when I was just 4 or 5 years old, anytime anybody would ask me want I was going to do I would tell them, ‘I am going to change the world,’” Shope said via telephone from her Chicago home. “I said that from the time I was 4 until about 18. I always felt I have a purpose on this planet.”

After high school graduation and earning a degree in psychology, Shope said she had to “enter the real world” and that meant getting a job. She worked at a Sweetwater bank for a year and then was able to land a job in pharmaceutical sales, which took her to Atlanta. A few years later, her husband, Blake McAmis, was sent to Chicago with his job at Colgate so they relocated there.

Then a couple of years ago as Shope put her daughter to bed, she couldn’t ignore a feeling that she was missing her calling, although at the time she didn’t know what that was. She said she had been telling her daughter, like her parents told her, that she could be anything she wanted to be.

“What is going to happen when she realizes that mommy gave up on her dream at 18?” Shope wondered.

So this new mom began researching things that interested her, which led Shope to get in touch with the Martha Beck Life Coach Training program. She took the extensive 6-month training and is now a coach. Beck has written several self-help books and writes a column for O; The Oprah Magazine. She resides in Phoenix, Ariz.

Shope had actually hired her own career coach as she pondered her move out of sales. She did virtual sessions with a coach in New York City. Shope is now following the path to her own happiness and wants to help other women do the same. She offers virtual sessions and gets back to Tennessee where she also meets with clients.

Getting together

She loves to host events for groups of women. Women who are over tired and over worked and being pulled in a million different directions. Women like Shope who feel unfulfilled in a career but who don’t know where to start to get out and move forward.

Her sessions are called Celebrate You and she brings in motivational speakers. She shares valuable information on managing time, plowing through to-do lists and gaining the courage for change. She has just launched a Celebrate You House Call Edition.

Shope is getting the word out about her business. She has been contacted by Ruby Tuesday to speak to its employees this September. Details are still being worked out.

On Thursday, this coach is offering a free group call on how to cut your to-do list in half. Persons who are interested can contact her via email. You can contribute to the conversation or simply listen.

What holds so many women back is a poor self image (I’m fat, I’m too old, I can’t ...) Shope believes. These Celebrate You sessions can be what a woman needs to overcome that and the fear of what’s next?

The need to connect

Shope’s parents and her husband’s parents still reside in Sweetwater (houses apart) so the couple visits often. They are also huge UT fans. Blake and Kendrick have been married for 10 years and were high school sweethearts at Sweetwater High. Understandably, they do miss East Tennessee.

Shope said she wants to connect with women out there who need to reinvest themselves in a new dream or one they have been burying for a while.

Life coaches aren’t medical doctors and there is no degree program to go through. Life coaches can’t help you with your psychological problems. What a life coach can do is help a person find answers to their own happiness and fulfillment minus the fear that holds them back.

Shope knows firsthand about the fear and uncertainty that fills us all with doubts. Her husband had multiple strokes at the young age of 27. A doctor told Shope he couldn’t promise he would live through the night.

Tough to change

“I remember standing by that hospital bed and saying, ‘We are both going to walk out of here,’ and we did,” Shope said. And I told myself ‘I am not going back to the same routine. But years later, I was in that same routine.”

She got tired of going through the motions and figures there are others just like her who need a coach to coax them. “Nobody graduates high school and college and enters the real world saying ‘I want to lose myself,’” this coach said.

It basically boils down to doing more of what you love and less of what you loathe, Shope said.

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