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Ballpark Commons: A new model for connected Exos services

In a world where the fitness industry is waking up to the benefits of whole-person fitness and wellness services, Exos physical therapy and performance training services launch this year in a community designed for athletes and high performers. Exos at Ballpark Commons in Franklin, Wisconsin, offers physical therapy, performance, and more for a purpose-built destination and residential setting that’s all about being better and doing more.

A unique setting for high performers

Ballpark Commons is a new multi-use development focused on sports and entertainment that features a 4,000-seat baseball stadium, indoor and outdoor multi-sport complexes, retail and office space, restaurants and bars, a skiing hill, and Luxe Golf Bays, plus apartments and senior living units across the street. The BPC community caters to health and fitness enthusiasts who commute to and from Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago, and surrounding areas. It’s also home to a new American Association of Professional Baseball team, the Milwaukee Milkmen, and serves as the headquarters of the SCW Soccer Club and Prospect Training Academy. Rock Sports Complex at Ballpark Commons will offer tournaments that welcome pro, semi-pro, amateur, and youth sports teams.

Exos at Ballpark Commons is set to occupy the entire top floor of the Ballpark Commons hub, the Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital (MOSH) Performance Center at the ROCK Sports Complex. The facility itself will be designed with the athlete in mind, offering next-level connected cardio equipment and 3D Movement assessments, dedicated spaces for movement preparation and recovery, and two indoor turf areas. Recovery services and amenities will include the latest technology, and Exos coaches will also offer nutrition consulting services for a whole-person approach.

Exos offers a new model for performance services

Exos is offering physical therapy and performance training services prior to the facility’s expected completion in late 2022. The full complement of services will include injury recovery, prevention, and performance-based services in an integrative model that blends PT and performance coaching like never before. Injury prevention is always part of the Exos performance playbook, which leans heavily on incorporating the company’s holistic 4 pillars of human performance:  mindset, nutrition, movement, and recovery. Once the new facility is complete and all services are online, coaches and therapists will have an opportunity to deliver that 4-pillar focus like never before.

For high performers like young athletes, professional players, and former athletes who want to pursue active adult training, Exos at Ballpark Commons will provide everything they need to train and improve efficiently.

“This facility is a unique opportunity for Exos to bring together physical therapy and performance services that complete the continuum of care for athletes of every age and skill level,” explained Exos Senior General Manager Samantha Linart, an Exos consultant helping with facility and services planning. “Exos teams are able to work together to coordinate an individual athlete’s training after an injury, for example, within the context of what the athlete can do. Performance coaches can provide Return to Play coaching, nutrition, and recovery services holistically, working with PT to help athletes return safely to full-scale performance training with a focus on reinjury prevention.”

Exos connected services for every athlete

Ballpark Commons is the perfect proving grounds for scalable team and individual training programs based on proven Exos human performance methods in an environment focused on healthy lifestyles.

“This facility is changing the face of healthcare and wellness delivery so that the focus is on the end user,” said Amanda Radochonski, Exos Senior Director of Powered By Business Services. “It’s an innovative way for us to serve the entire community with wellness solutions in one location, with an equal emphasis on performance training and developing a winning mindset, as well as recovery services and nutrition coaching.”

While the facility’s grand opening is a few months away, Exos coaches are preparing for a busy summer. Youth camps, training, and adult coaching programs start soon.

Exos performance services later this year will also include coach-led corporate team training, tournament team movement and recovery sessions and nutrition tips, pop-up coaching classes for resident team members, and regular small-group performance coaching for all ages and performance levels. Add in Exos nutrition consulting and education, team nutrition services, and coach workshops, and you have a performance athlete’s every need covered.

“This is the first opportunity we’ve had to manage both a performance training facility and a physical therapy clinic that meet teams and athletes where they practice and play,” Radochonski said. “We’re putting together team and individual training and educational opportunities to help build this unique community, and we’re excited to get started.”

Growing and expanding through 2022-2023

Exos continues to build its menu of services in preparation for the grand opening in late 2022. At the same time, Ballpark Commons continues to expand and will feature 20+ onsite businesses. Luxe Golf Bays should be completed mid-year, and residential construction is expected to continue as demand for full-time living within this unique wellness community grows.

The excitement surrounding Wisconsin’s newest and most innovative multi-use development isn’t limited to local residents and athletes. Ballpark Commons is expected to become one of the premier fitness enthusiast and athlete destinations in the U.S. The implications of its success could inform future industry focus, and once again, Exos is poised to lead the way.

Learn more about Exos management and consulting services for fitness and performance facilities and Exos Physical Therapy clinic management services. Connect with us to learn how this human performance company has built its proven methodology over the last two decades, four pillars and one athlete at a time.

How to remove barriers to youth training and build lifelong athletes

If the fitness industry expects to keep growing, trainers need to start breaking down barriers to performance coaching for youth athletes.

That’s the position Amanda Radochonski has taken since she started managing the Exos Sports Performance vertical, and she says her performance team continues to lead the charge for the benefit of Exos members and the future of the fitness industry.

“Youth and high school athletes have to become a focus for this industry,” Radochonski said. “Kids need performance education that helps them grow and develop in a healthy way. We’ve got to emphasize performance nutrition, a winning mindset, and healthy habits for life.”

Building performance program awareness and education

Overall wellness drives community awareness outreach for the team at Children’s Health Andrews Institute Sports Performance powered by Exos. The Plano, TX, Exos-managed location is home to a staff of four performance specialists and one performance dietitian. Senior General Manager Josh Adams says his team’s grassroots efforts include awareness of the program’s offering for all ages and performance levels, as well as awareness of performance training as an essential foundation for a healthy lifestyle.

“The industry of youth sports has long been heading down the path of early sport specialization and a ‘more, more, more’ mentality when it comes to sport skill acquisition. The reality is that athletes need general physical training, quality nutrition habits, and a focus on sleep and recovery just as much, if not more, in order to stay healthy and ensure the best chance of long-term success,” Adams explained. “Youth and high school performance training should be geared toward establishing a foundation of quality movement and general fitness, while reinforcing a healthy relationship with physical activity.”

It’s an effort that pays off when youth athletes continue their training and multi-sport focus through the Children’s high school, college, and adult coaching programs.

“Burnout, for numerous reasons, is increasingly common amongst younger athletes, so we try to do our part in educating athletes and parents on strategies to avoid burnout, both with their respective sport(s) and training,” Adams said. “We always try to layer in a bit of fun within each of our sessions so they don’t feel as though they are partaking in repetitive and monotonous training, which also aids in retention and excitement about staying active.”

Retention, he said, is crucial to building the fitness industry’s next generation of adult participants.

Balance and diversification prevent injury, build lifelong athletes

Adams mentioned that one big challenge for coaches – and athletes –  is the current trend of youth sports specialization.

A 2020 Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine study found that young athletes who specialize in one sport year-round are more likely to suffer overuse injuries than multi-sport athletes. The prevalence of injuries identified as resulting from overuse due to specialization was higher among athletes who specialized before the age of 12, especially young girls. At the study’s conclusion, 41 percent of all injuries in the responding group were classified as overuse injuries.

Diversification is one lesson Adams and his team incorporate at every age level in the Children’s performance training program. He said the result of encouraging kids to play different sports instead of specializing in one sport builds athletes for life and helps prevent injury.

“When we encourage young athletes to play multiple sports and partake in age-appropriate training with qualified professionals, we allow athletes to figure out what sports and activities they truly enjoy, while also creating a strong foundation of movement quality, strength, speed, and stamina,” he said. “A natural progression of sports interest and general physical development will drastically decrease the likelihood of burnout and injury, while also ensuring that physical activity is a part of their forever lifestyle.”

Radochonski agreed, adding that balance, sports diversity, and education help developing athletes expect more from themselves while also protecting against sports-specific overuse injuries.

“Performance training teaches these young people healthy habits that keep them active for life,” Radochonski explained. “So many adults are trying to re-learn healthy habits or learn them for the first time, and that’s incredibly difficult. Teaching self-discipline and wellness from a young age is essential if we want to grow healthy people.”

The natural progression of performance training

How young are Exos Sports Performance clients? Radochonski said the earliest children should begin training is 7, and at that age, performance specialists like those at Children’s know that they won’t focus on skill development the same way they do with junior high or high school athletes.

“The lifecycle of an individual starts as young as 7 years old in a play-minded approach, which then ultimately leads to body weight exercises and movements, specific activites and exercises to build strength,” Radochonski explained. “We add a nutrition element early so these kids understand how to fuel their bodies in a healthy way. By high school, our coaches incorporate true strength and conditioning and agility work. Our collegiate athlete education includes a full-blown understanding of nutritional supplements and the demands of being a collegiate athlete.”

“You’re looking at 10-15 years to build, not just wellness, but also teamwork, leadership, competition, quality of life, and skills learned particpating in things that are physically good for your body. Ultimately, that whole-person education builds a better future. Discipline helps us be better beings.”

Implementing youth performance training

Fitness professionals who want to expand into youth and high school performance training have a responsibility to focus on healthy development that is age-appropriate, Radochonski said. Exos specialists include coach/trainer selection criteria in their parent education programs at every performance location.

“It’s important for parents to understand what kind of individuals they’re trusting their kids with,” she said. “The industry is unregulated. Credentials and experience are important. We educate parents on the fact that true professionals put health and wellness first.”

Sharing that philosophy of wellness education requires an extensive community outreach effort. It’s a prime directive for Adams and his team. They work diligently on building awareness of program offerings for all ages, also educating and encouraging parents and young athletes to focus on lifelong health and injury prevention through scientifically proven training methods.

It’s a model that builds relationships and trust because of the team’s authenticity and willingness to give back.

“My greatest advice to those that are looking to implement youth and high school training is that you have to start with education and community,” Adams said. “The biggest differentiator will always be the relationships that you develop with organizations and individuals and how you support the athletes when you have an opportunity to do so.”

At Children’s, that support ranges from attending soccer tournaments to offering free nutrition clinics, and also includes providing yearly sports physicals in schools and leading movement sessions alongside team skill coaches. The Children’s program, like many Exos Sports Performance programs, provides for a level of community investment that shares expertise and opportunities for all children to experience the same training trusted by many professional athletes.

Once introduced to performance training and coaches they can trust, it’s up to kids and parents to use that newfound knowledge to commit to training.

“Your athletes have to crave improvement more than you do,” Radochonski said, adding that the financial investment doesn’t have to be a barrier for committed athletes. “Exos coaches can help parents and kids get creative and find options to remove financial barriers.”

Performance coaching powered by Exos

The Exos approach to building relationships and nurturing athletes of all ages and stages has evolved into a balanced, whole-person approach that has proven effective for more than two decades. Learn more about Exos Management and Consulting services and, if you’re considering expanding or improving existing performance training options for youth and high school athletes, reach out for more information.

As Adams pointed out, it takes a lot more than a facility and a time slot to create a performance coaching program that will contribute positively to building the next generation of fitness industry participants.

“A shiny building and a flashy name are great starting points, but will not be successful without great community impact and awareness,” he said. “Sports and physical activity, when approached the correct way, should create a highly positive experience and, hopefully, a desire to be active and healthy for life!”

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