Equip Sports Performance; If You Build It…
By Julie Shepherd
A few years back Andy and I started to kick around the idea of creating a strength and conditioning program for teen athletes. We both have daughters who are involved in different sports and we wanted to create a program to help them get stronger, faster and help them reduce their risk of injury.
We were starting to hear about an alarming number of ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injuries among female high school athletes. This concerned us both, being parents of daughters, and we were curious why no one was really talking about how to help prevent these injuries.
We started studying the best of the best. We attended a coaching seminar at Stanford and listened to Shannon Turley, a nationally recognized Strength and Conditioning coach, talk about how he trains his athletes. One fact that stood out was in the first six seasons he was at Stanford he reduced the number of games missed due to injuries by 87%, which is noteworthy. I also attended a few of the Stanford Women’s soccer team strength and conditioning sessions and trainings. We also studied Mike Boyle and his training philosophy. He is another great Strength and Conditioning coach who has worked with the U.S. Women’s Olympic soccer and hockey teams, and the Boston Red Sox, to name a few. These programs were in line with what we wanted to offer our athlete – a really smart training program that inherently helped reduce their risk of injury.
The road to building this program has not always been easy. We have sometimes doubted whether there was a market for what we so passionately believed in, but we stayed the course and people are becoming more and more curious about what we have to offer.
As an example of our growth, last summer we had close to 40 athletes come through our gym doors. This summer we have had over 90 athletes training with us. We offered our first 2 week mini camp where we were able to coach the kids on speed/first step acceleration, change of direction technique and build a solid strength foundation and endurance. I talked with one of the parents recently and they told me how their son asked if they could go to the gym and do some hang power cleans! This was music to our ears!
We also donated our facility and coaching staff to the San Marin Varsity football team, (Coach Cory Boyd led this program) San Marin Girls basketball team, San Marin Varsity and JV Cheerleaders. I had the pleasure of coaching the 3 girls teams and it was amazing! Most of these girls have never seen the inside of a weight room. Not only did they end their summer training having learned proper technique to help reduce their risk of injury, but they are also stronger and faster than when they started!
Our momentum is not slowing down. We already have 4 teams on the schedule to train with us starting in August and are talking to a few other teams who are interested in our services. We have added a turf field to our training facility that includes soccer goals, 2 batting cage nets, and are working on a basketball court. We will have the ability to offer skills training with a strength and conditioning programming all in one location.
We have quietly gone about creating a program we are proud of without a lot of advertising. Our clients come by word of mouth which I feel is one of the best ways, if not the best, to get new business. Our motto from the beginning has been, “if we build it, they will come”. As cliche as it sounds it has proven to be true. We have taken our time to make sure we offer a quality product that was created with a lot of thought and research behind our techniques and philosophies. We are proud of what the program is now and can’t wait to watch it continue to grow as more people learn about what we offer and as we continue our quest for knowledge.
We love what we do! We love watching the athletes faces light up when they master a new skill, lift a weight they’ve never lifted before or have a huge smile on their sweaty face because they feel good about the hard work they put in for the day.
If you are interested in learning more about injury prevention protocols and strength and or conditioning principles historically reserved for top collegiate and professional athletes, we’d love to hear from you!