Meet Coach AK

Life is our best teacher, and it comes at us fast. Artesian Kirksey, better known as Coach AK,  developed his Universal Soldier curriculum and coaching because of his own life experiences which taught him how to thrive in the face of adversity.

Humble Beginnings

Artesian did not always have the self-confidence, self-discipline and belief that he possesses now. It was forged through trial and error, which led to a change in his thinking, then ultimately, a change in his behaviors. This may sound easier than done, but it is possible when you learn how to train your mindset.

Artesian learned long ago, your skillset is only as good as your mindset. He teaches individuals how to think and behave from the perspective of the person they desire to become. The practical application techniques he teaches are uniquely designed to help elite athletes marry their fullest potential to the right mentality.

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The Veteran

As a highly decorated Marine, Artesian has developed a solid foundation of leadership and mindset training. He understands what it takes to build and develop mental endurance and toughness. Upon arriving at bootcamp with ninety-nine other recruits, (with only sixty-seven graduating and becoming Marines), Artesian graduated at the top of his class and was meritoriously promoted to the next rank. Artesian took advantage of this momentum throughout his entire military career and used it to propel him through college after completing his four-year enlistment. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Administration, a Master’s in Business Administration and a Master’s of Science degree in Higher Education with an emphasis in Adult Teaching and Learning.

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The College Professor/Dean

Artesian decided to become a college professor because of his personal academic struggles growing up. He went from having to repeat sixth grade and barely graduating high school to earning an “Outstanding College Faculty of the Year Award”, teaching courses in Critical Thinking and Professional Development to adult learners. This is where Artesian developed his transformational speaking, teaching, and coaching style. His mission was to help as many students as possible reach their academic goals while simultaneously making profound shifts in their mindset. Artesian has logged thousands of hours of lecture time to hundreds of students at various stages of their academic journeys. 

After years of teaching, Artesian decided to shift his focus to leadership by becoming an Academic Dean. Artesian thoroughly enjoyed having had the opportunity to implement his leadership style and coach other faculty and college leaders. Artesian’s main focus was not in creating more followers, but creating more leaders. After serving nearly two decades in higher education, Artesian decided to shift his focus once again.

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The Author/Mental

Skills Trainer

In addition to his extensive background in higher education, Artesian is also the founder and CEO of Artwork, LLC which provides curriculum in the areas of mindset, leadership, and professional development. In addition to his curriculum, he also offers personalized coaching sessions for his clients. In 2019, he became a published author with his first book titled, “The Art of Transformation”. 

Over the years, Artesian has consulted with collegiate teams, youth sport clubs, coaches and parents who are seeking to incorporate mental skills into their training.

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What Are Clients Saying?

I understand the power of having the right team surrounding me. This is why I have pitching coaches and athletic trainers. Adding AK to my team is the bow on top. The mental skills we work on change my thoughts and allows me to reach my fullest potential and conquer challenges. 
-Kade Mechals, Chicago White Sox 

What Are Clients Saying?

AK knows how to make you feel like a million bucks and gives you the information you need to keep yourself feeling that way. 

He is very validating towards his clients and enthusiastic about what he does! Not only is he clearly a person who loves what they are doing, but he would show so much enthusiasm for my own personal journey of honing my own mental skills. His style of coaching helped me better reflect on aspects of my life that kept me from reaching my own potential and gave me ways to channel energy toward better mental strength.

If you’re looking for a coach that will push you to new levels of mental strength and awareness, stop your search, you’ve found him!