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Have Laptop, Will Travel

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

by Donna Parker

Emilie Burrer Foster, who received her degree in physical education from Trinity in 1969, works in the numbers game, which is lucky for her clients. Her clients include professional athletes, such as former Spurs star David Robinson and Padraig Harrington, who just won back-to-back major golf championships.

"Padraig is an accountant by his education. He is a CPA, as well as a world-class professional golfer. When I went over the numbers in the study of his golf swing on the 3-D motion, he analyzed every last one of them!"

No small feat, when you consider, "For each sport skill, there can be up to a half million numbers," says Emilie, who uses groundbreaking 3-D computer technology to analyze those numbers and improve the athlete's performance.

"I'm not really a coach, but I do help enhance their athletic performance and help reduce injuries which can sideline an athlete's career."

This industrious businesswoman, who travels the world armed with three high-speed cameras and a laptop, says that the area of the brain controlling the cognitive domain also governs motor skills and reasoning capability. She's worked with tennis stars and professional golfers. She has even worked with the Ireland World Cup Rugby team, and says jokingly, "I was the only female on a 46-man roster! Not a bad place to find yourself!"

Emilie, who selects her clients carefully, is herself a world-class athlete and was one of four women out of more than 150 nominees inducted into the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's Women's Hall of Fame. She went through Trinity on a tennis scholarship and after graduating coached the Trinity tennis team for 12 years.

"Trinity was just a great place for me. Obviously, it provides a great education but the high point for me was the quality of the people-both professors and students. One reason to pick a college is to surround yourself with people who have similar characteristics as yourself."

Emilie, who values a consistent work ethic, positive attitude, and outgoing personality, has high praise for her own mentors who helped her along the way.

"Shirley Rushing-Poteet, department of athletics, and William McGavock, department of chemistry, were very demanding and yet unfailingly consistent, which gave you the sense that the only thing they wanted was for you to be a better person."

Emilie stays in touch with a number of her college friends and even recently ran into Coleen Grissom, department of English, at the Boerne, Texas, post office!

But mostly, she's on the road and her unique entrepreneurial career keeps her in far-flung places around the globe, rather than her own home.

"In the past 42 days, I was in my house for six of them!"

Soon off to Illinois and Australia, this busy professional who has worked with the world's best-known athletes has stayed grounded and states that her greatest achievement in life has been raising her son, Curtis, 27, who is a golf pro in Texas.

"The best thing is his sense of humor," she says, continuing, "And, of course, golf."

"When I need to relax, I play 18 holes by myself, carrying my own bag. I always take my cell phone, but never answer it while on the course. I just enjoy the simple beauty of being outside."

You may contact Emilie at Emiliefoster3 [at] yahoo.com.