CEO & Founder
Dr. Chris Garcia holds the distinction as San Diego’s first and only residency trained sports clinical specialist in physical therapy. He has extensive experience in treating athletes of all levels and sports, including working with Olympic, professional and recreational athletes. For three years, Chris served as a physical therapist at the United States Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, where he treated the nation’s best athletes. Additionally, he has been an integral member of sports performance teams during the NFL Combine Training program. He further enhanced his treatment methodology with a 4-month clinical internship with world-renowned physical therapist, Dr. Shirley Sahrmann, PT, PhD, FAPTA. Chris excels at relieving pain and improving performance of athletes by blending manual therapy with movement analysis to quickly identify and correct inefficient movement patterns. He has a special interest in managing low back pain, hip pain and knee ACL injury prevention. He has developed a unique screening assessment and approach to identify athletes at risk for injury. Having traveled around the world managing the care of the nation’s best athletes, Chris brings this vast experience and knowledge to help you train longer, harder and pain free.
A San Diego native, Dr. Garcia received his Bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University in Kinesiology and was honored as the Outstanding Graduate of the Year in a graduating class of 10,000 students. He earned his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Washington University in St. Louis, ranked at the top 1% of the nation’s physical therapy programs. Chris went on to complete a 15-month intensive sports physical therapy residency from The Ohio State University Sports Medicine Center. Chris is a board certified Sports Clinical Specialist through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and Advanced Sports Performance Coach through USA Weightlifting. Chris has presented at local, state and national conferences on sports medicine, including core stability, hip pain, sports performance, and bridging the gap between rehabilitation and return to sport. He also serves as adjunct faculty in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at San Diego State University.
- Licensed Physical Therapist, PT
- Doctor of Physical Therapy, DPT
- Board Certified Sports Clinical Specialist, SCS
- Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, CSCS
- USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach Level 1 and 2, USAW
- Selective Functional Movement Assessment Level 1 and 2, SFMA
- Functional Movement Screen Level 1 and 2, FMS
- Graston Technique Accredited Technician
- Sports Taping Specialist
- Posture Specialist
- Movement Expert
- 4-month Movement System Impairment Clinical Internship with World Renowned, Dr. Shirley Sahrmann, PT, PhD, FAPTA
Chris served on various medical teams to provide care for Olympic, Paralympic and professional athletes nationally and internationally.
- ATP World Tennis Tour: Rogers Cup – Montreal, Canada
- IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final – London, England
- EXOS / Athletes’ Performance NFL Combine Prep Program
- ATP World Tennis Tour: Wimbledon – London, England
- ATP World Tennis Tour: Roland Garros French Open – Paris, France
- UCI BMX Supercross World Cup – Chula Vista, CA
- IPC Athletics World Championships – Lyon, France
- Paralympic Games – USA Track and Field, London, England
- USA BMX Olympic Trials – Chula Vista, CA
- USA Rowing National Regatta Olympic Trials – Chula Vista, CA
- USA BMX National Championships – Chula Vista, CA
- USA Sevens Rugby Tournament – Las Vegas, NV
- HSBC Seven Ruby World Series- Wellington, New Zealand
- ParaPan American Games – Guadalajara, Mexico
- USA Track and Field Torpe Cup – Chula Vista, CA
- USA Archery SoCal Showdown – Chula Vista, CA
DR. STEPHANIE GARCIA
The Real CEO
– Doctor of Physical Therapy
– Certified Athletic Trainer
– Certified Strength And
– Sports Performance Coach
Dr. Stephanie Garcia is co-owner of Sports Performance and is one of our most experienced physical therapists. Originally from Ohio, she graduated with her Bachlor’s Degree from Ohio University with a double major in Athletic Training and Exercise Physiology in 2006, as well as competed as a Division 1 athlete on the Ohio Bobcat’s Track & Field Team, running the 800m. Her personal best was 2:17.
Stephanie graduated with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2009 from Ohio University. She met Dr. Chris Garcia while working at The Ohio State University Sports Medicine, and moved to San Diego in 2011. As a Certified Athletic Trainer and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist since 2006, she has experience treating a wide variety of injuries and athletes, specializing in a manual therapy approach.
Stephanie enjoys an active lifestyle, including CrossFit, yoga, running, and traveling.
DR. JASON UMALI
Sports Physical Therapist
– Doctor Of Physical Therapy
– Certified Clinical Athlete Weightlifting Coach
– Movement Specialist
Dr. Jason is originally from the beautiful Pacific Northwest where he graduated with his Bachelor’s in Kinesiology from Washington State University (Go Cougs!). Jason now calls San Diego home after receiving his Doctorate of Physical Therapy with high honors from the University of St. Augustine. Jason made it an emphasis to gain experience in a variety of settings from an inpatient level 5 trauma center for spinal rehabilitation, vestibular rehab, aquatic therapy, post-operative orthopedics, and sports rehabilitation and performance for athletes at all levels. Dr. Jason found his true passion with Orthopedics and Sports Performance and enjoys treating fitness athletes. He is a Certified Clinical Athlete Weightlifting coach using a combination of manual therapy techniques and strength and conditioning principles in his practice.
During school, Jason volunteered his time working with Rock Steady boxing classes for Parkinson disease clients and the Senior CA Olympic Games athletes which truly showed there is no limit for anyone to perform at a high level no matter age or skill level. Jason considers anyone an athlete that wants to pursue an active lifestyle so it’s his mission to keep you healthy to keep you doing what you love throughout your lifespan.
Jason places a big emphasis on personal growth and continual learning which he shares with his clients to empower them to make positive decisions for their well-being. Jason spends time keeping up to date with scientific literature both in the Physical Therapy and Strength & Conditioning realm along with continuing education courses such as Spinal Thrust Manipulation, Corrective exercise, and Olympic Weightlifting assessment courses with much more planned in the near future to provide the best service to his clients.
Outside of Sports Performance, you can find Jason exploring sunny San Diego at breweries, coffee shops, or out hiking with his girlfriend, Robin, and their dog, Porter. Jason competes in Olympic Weightlifting at a national level in the 67kg/73kg weightclass with plans to also compete in Powerlifting. He also enjoys cooking, reading, skateboarding, and he is always open to new hobbies to challenge himself.
DR. KATIE COLEMAN
Sports Physical Therapist
– Doctor Of Physical Therapy
– Movement Specialist
Dr. Katie is a native San Diegan who has returned home after some time spent in Arizona. She attended San Diego Mesa College and CSU, Chico where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology. At both SD Mesa and Chico State she was on the Cross Country and Track & Field teams, running middle and long distance races. Dr. Katie completed her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Franklin Pierce University in Goodyear, Arizona. She has completed coursework in women’s health and chronic pain.
Dr. Katie returned to San Diego has been busy reacquainting herself with the local trails, beaches, and campgrounds. When she’s not working, she enjoys being active outdoors, camping, reading, and spending time with her boyfriend and dog. She also has a creative side and occasionally paints for fun.
Five fun facts about Dr. Katie:
1. The coolest animal she has been able to pet was a stingray.
2. Her favorite books include the Harry Potter series.
3. She has two pets: a dog named Lucy and a lizard named Tina.
4. Her bucket list includes becoming SCUBA certified.
5. She has a bunch of random facts memorized that she calls her “Jeopardy knowledge”.
Sports Massage Therapist
– Clinical Massage Therapist
Alicia is a massage therapist who specializes in sports recovery. One of only a handful of massage therapists working with athletes every day, currently, Alicia is the senior therapist at the US Olympic Training Center here in Chula Vista, and has been for the past 7 years. She has worked exclusively with America’s greatest Olympic athletes both winter and summer, and has the distinction of having served in the last two Olympic Games, London in 2012 and most recently Rio in 2016. Alicia brings experience and passion to her work and is privileged to be the therapist of choice for the Olympic Rowing team and Team USA’s Track and Field athletes. Her expertise has taken her all over the world to assist these elite level athletes in achieving their goals. ACE instructor certified for almost 15 years, Alicia teaches Kickboxing classes at the YMCA, allowing her to understand movement, exercise and body mechanics from more than just a therapist’s angle. She enjoys skiing, golfing, yoga, and beekeeping in her spare time.
Alicia holds an Associate of Science degree in Massage Therapy, rare for massage therapists, from the State University of New York system. Having graduated at the top of her class, she is Nationally Board Certified and holds a Holistic Health Care Practitioner’s license in California and a Massage Therapy License in New York. Alicia has training in myofascial release, trigger point therapy, neuromuscular facilitation, myofascial decompression (cupping) and Reiki energy work. More than just a wealth of knowledge, Alicia brings intuition and caring to her healing practice, believing that a healthy body is the extension of a healthy mind both requiring loving attention.
Sports Massage Therapist
Anise is a massage therapist with a deep-rooted passion for movement as medicine. She is a graduate of National Holistic Institute where she graduated at the top of her class. She has had the privilege of working with Cirque Du Sole athletes, professional fighters, and competitive rock climbers to assist with their recovery and overall wellness and success.
With over twenty years experience as a high-level competitive gymnast, both as a coach and an athlete, it’s no surprise that she has been drawn to sports injury recovery as her line of expertise in massage. She genuinely loves movement of all forms and is fascinated by how the body functions and heals. Anise is a practicing acrobat, fire performer, rock climber, surfer, and musician. She continues to find new forms of athleticism to peak her interest and inspire her love of massage therapy.
Five fun facts about Anise:
1. She was raised in the Cayman Islands where she was homeschooled and used to break coconuts open with rocks.
2. She is a fire performer (fire eating, breathing, and staff spinning)
3. She works on cars and ride dirt bikes
4. She plays 6 instruments and sings jazz
5. She grew up cattle ranching on horseback
– Certified Personal Trainer
Alex Hart was raised in Greenwood, Indiana where he developed a passion for sports and fitness. He started playing soccer at a young age and played a variety of other sports including basketball, baseball, football, swimming, and ultimate frisbee but developed a special passion for weightlifting that he would carry into his adult life and eventually teach others.
Alex joined the Navy in 2013 upon graduating high school and Attended Navy Dive School where he was tested to his mental and physical limits before beginning a career as a deep-sea diver. He spent his 6 years of service stationed in San Diego, CA diving on Navy vessels and performing underwater repairs but his true passion was above the surface training and coaching others. As a Company Fitness Leader for his unit, Alex developed fitness programs for his team to stay in excellent shape and provided personal training to those who wanted to go the extra mile to meet their goals.
After being Honorably discharged in 2019, Alex earned His Personal Trainer Certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine and enrolled in National University where he is currently pursuing a degree in Human Biology in preparation for Physical Therapy school.
– Certified Personal Trainer
Coach Nelly was raised in Tijuana in a little part of the city called Santa Fe, she grew up playing soccer as a wide midfielder. This is where she developed her passion for movement and in high school, she explored running in Cross Country and Track and Field. Upon
graduating high school Nelly went to San Diego Miramar Community College where she completed her associate’s degree in Personal Training and where she completed coursework to transfer to a university.
Coach Nelly is currently enrolled in San Diego State where she is pursuing her bachelor’s in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Pre-Physical Therapy with the future goal of becoming a Doctor of Physical Therapy. Her mission is to keep people moving so they can live their best life.
Five fun facts about Coach Nelly:
1. She can squat 315lbs.
2. She competed in bodybuilding for 2 years.
3. She is an IPA lover.
4. She has a pug named Mochi.
5. She loves video games…especially any Legend of Zelda or Halo games.
CLIENT CARE COORDINATOR
Cristianah is a native San Diegan who loves all that this beautiful city has to offer! From a young age, Cristianah was a very active individual. She grew up playing competitive softball on a travel ball team, she also dabbled in soccer, field hockey, and volleyball. (She is no stranger to injuries.) She found a love for sports at 6 years old when she found herself being the only girl on a little league baseball team and from then, she was hooked.
Cristianah first started at Sports Performance as an intern, then worked her way up to Client Care Specialist and Marketing Assistant, and is now supporting our mission to provide world-class healthcare and customer service as our Client Care Coordinator.
Some of Cristianah’s lifetime goals include competing in a bodybuilding competition, travelling to each continent, and becoming fluent in ASL.
She has a passion for learning and helping others and helping you get back to being healthy and active is her #1 priority. Cristianah is here to ensure you get back to doing the things you love, without pain, or limitations.
CLIENT CARE SPECIALIST
Alexis is born and raised in San Diego. She is a college student working towards her degree in Liberal Arts. Along with school Alexis enjoys dancing. She’s apart of many dance teams in her community and also teaches to kids. On her free time Alexis is most likely at the beach or spending time with her family.
Five fun facts about Alexis:
1. She’s the oldest sibling out of six.
2. She’s a hip-hop dancer.
3. She is a coffee enthusiast.
4. Her family is from Puerto Rico.
5. She loves to travel.
Paulina was born in Chile but has been in the United States for the majority of her life. She has been living in San Diego for all of her adult life and considers San Diego home.
Paulina is passionate about marketing and business development, animals and wildlife, nature, and wellness. She graduated from San Diego State University and is also obtaining a marketing certificate from Mesa College. She lives in National City with her husband and stepson, a wiener dog named Frank, and a black cat named Lucy.
Five fun facts about Paulina:
1. She absolutely cannot live without whipped cream in her coffee.
2. During reps, she likes to dance to keep my heart rate up.
3. She is a really big fan of Dateline and has seen almost every episode. She considers herself to be a TV detective.
4. She cooks a different type of Thanksgiving meal each year to help teach her son about food and traditions in different cultures.
5. Her happy place is on a longboard or paddleboard or hiking in a secluded forest.