The best part of the summer is the variety of athletes that we have training with us. One day you might see a few of the local pro Hockey players using our space. You may see Erin Hamlin preparing for an Olympic competition year or you may see our collegiate level athletes working hard to get better for next season.
Our summer strength and conditioning camp is one of the most successful programs we offer. It is an exciting time for us as well as we wrap up our training for the Utica College Pioneers. We start seeing our local athletes return for their off-seasons. I wanted to write this article to showcase what separates our program from others. I will not bore you with the obvious get stronger and faster claims that every trainer promises till they are blue in the face. The foundation of our summer program is different.
Mentorship from the coaches and other athletes in the gym separates us from other facilities in the area. Recently one of our clients Lawrence Elliott Jr. (Bloomsburg University RB) was invited to attend Arizona Cardinals Rookie Camp. This kid was a superstar well before this opportunity, and to say that our younger athletes looked up to him is an understatement. I cannot tell you the amount of times this young man would go out of his way to talk with anyone and everyone at our facility no matter what age or sport they played. Leading by example, there was never a time that he didn’t bring 100% to his training sessions. He would always cap off his workouts with having our high-school quarterbacks who were training with us throw him routes. This part of their summer training not only helped with their skill development, but also the increase in confidence was priceless.
I watched one of our athletes enter his senior year without starting a single game the year prior, be named starting quarter back for his team. He would go on to lead his team to a sectional championship at the Carrier Dome. This athlete spent the last month of his off-season throwing to Elliott and I know it made a world of difference. This is just one example of the culture we have created at SPI. Our athletes get used to training with kids from different schools. When they are under our roof it is instilled into them that they are here for one common goal: Become a better athlete and person. We don’t take everyone that wants to train at our gym. In fact we have turned people away that don’t fit into the mold that we expect with our athletes and we pride ourselves in that.
A huge benefit of having multiple trainers is each of us have specialties that we offer to our client. You are not dropping your athlete off at some fitness club, unsupervised, so they can fool around with their friends. Our company is made up of Doctors of Physical Therapy, Athletic Trainers and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists. Our athlete assessment created by Mike Jarmak PT, DPT, CSCS contains elements of the Functional Movement System (FMS), the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) and standardized sports specific tests. The SFMA is one of the most highly recognized assessment tools developed by world renowned Physical Therapist, Gray Cook. Our head Trainer Steve Dowd, CSCS works together with Amanda Drake SPT and Nate Fredsell, CSCS on program design, nutritional advice and coaching proper lifting techniques to prevent injury. Lastly, our athletes have access to sports medicine services such as kinesiotaping, soft tissue massage and cupping.
We have designed our program to be very affordable for our athletes’ families. We know how expensive just participating in athletics is nowadays. Travel teams year-round, camps, equipment and now Strength and Conditioning. If you break down the cost our early camp program ($350 dollars for training between May 15th-August 31st) costs less than 5 dollars a day, for everything that was mentioned above. You will have a hard time finding a facility and program devoted solely to the development of athletes at a better price.
I struggled with capping this article at 3 as I can think of well over a dozen reasons why your athlete should participate in a strength and conditioning program. More appropriately it should be titled, “why dropping your child off at a box gym is a waste of time and money” but that is a little lengthy and 3 reasons has a better ring to it. Hope to see you all this summer!