As Superior Athletic Advantage hits its 10 year anniversary, I find myself reflecting on the past. It’s fun to see that clients who started with us as middle schoolers and high schoolers are still with us training hard as adults. It’s a rewarding feeling to reflect on the accomplishments of the clients that have come through the doors. So, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share a brief summary of how I first came to SAA.
Will and I met at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI). Will is originally from Mundelein, Illinois and I am originally from Bozeman, Montana. I was a senior on the baseball team and Will was a new Strength and Conditioning Coach for the baseball team.
Will was starting his first semester of graduate school in Exercise Science and I was finishing my undergrad in Exercise Science. We had a lot in common as he also played college baseball and loved training. We quickly became friends. We used to talk baseball and strength training endlessly.
I wasn’t completely sure of what I was going to do after I graduated. I knew I wanted to pursue a career related to the field of Exercise Science and somehow stay involved in baseball. I had been playing baseball my entire life and it was quickly coming to and end, which was a tough pill to swallow. I had made up my mind at the end of my senior year that I was going pursue a MA in Exercise Science.
The summer after my senior year, I stayed in Cedar Falls, Iowa to work and began Olympic Weightlifting seriously. Olympic weightlifting soon became a passion and a way to continue to compete as an athlete.
Along my practical & classroom experiences I learned the benefits of Olympic weightlifting within a properly structured strength & conditioning program and its effect on athletic performance. Both Will and I saw this an advantage as Strength and Conditioning coaches and as former athletes. Learning and applying these training methodologies became our lives.
Later in the year, I was now in grad school and Will was in his second year. Will, and I were strength and conditioning coaches for the UNI baseball team. By now, we were immersed in Olympic weightlifting and sports performance. We would coach together and learn from each other.
During that semester Will decided to invite me out to Chicago for a weekend trip. Will revealed his idea of starting a performance center around the Chicago area and that I could be a big part of it.
The whole concept was very clear. Bring elite level strength and conditioning that was usually reserved for Division 1 weight rooms to youth sports. This was a radical idea at the time. It was rare to see or even hear about young kids training with weights, especially doing weightlifting movements, but we were confident in our methodologies.
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Will finished graduate classes and moved out to start the business in September of 2008. Six months later, I finished my last semester of grad school and moved out to start my journey at SAA.
Superior Athletic Advantage was born in a 900 square foot sports training facility in Buffalo Grove, IL. This opportunity would give the business a great start working with travel baseball & club volleyball teams.
It was an exciting time. As business quickly grew, we soon came to the realization that the space we were in wasn’t going to work long term. We began to focus or search for a new space in the Barrington area. Eventually we found the space that was once used as a newspaper printing warehouse. It was close to the high school and off a major roadway and is now our current space.
I share all these small snippets of this timeline because they have all had an impact on how this gym was shaped from the very beginning. We are fortunate to meet each other and make a career out of our passion. We were fortunate to work with middle school, high school and college athletes in grad school. We were fortunate to benefit from our classroom and practical experiences. We continue to learn and develop as coaches today. We rely on our experiences and education to provide quality training. Here’s to another 10 years!